Alongside incoming flights from Istanbul and Madrid, the Israel Airports Authority has listed the Beresheet moon landing on its arrival timetable. The landing is set to begin on Thursday, with touchdown expected around 3:25 p.m. ET, the Israeli space team said.
Once Genesis touches the lunar surface, Israel will have entered the history books as only the fourth country to successfully land a spacecraft on the moon, sharing the honor with far larger countries with much deeper pockets - the U.S., China and Russian Federation.
Last week, Beresheet successfully exited the earth's orbit and let the moon's gravitational force draw it into it's own orbit. At its closest point, the spacecraft is 15 to 17 kilometers (9.3-10.6 miles) above the moon's surface. The competition offered $20 million for the first non-governmental entity to land a spacecraft on the moon.
It part-funded by Israeli billionaire Morris Kahn and the Israel Space Agency.
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When the landing moment comes, a series of commands from SpaceIL and IAI's control room in the central Israeli city of Yehud, will activate the spacecraft's sensors, after which its engine will run as it makes its way to the landing site.
The Beresheet space probe aims to touch down tomorrow, two months after launch, with a landing planned for Thursday, near the moon's Sea of Serenity. While Beresheet is operating its magnetometer will measure traces of the ancient lunar magnetic field, which was once as strong as Earth's billions of years ago, and measure magnetic anomalies known to be in the Mare Serenitatis area.
Beresheet is "the smallest craft ever", Damari said, and its size has been compared to washing machine. After landing, it will take a selfie.
Israeli scientists stand next to unmanned spacecraft, Beresheet. "I didn't realize it was impossible and the three engineers who started this project didn't realize it was impossible, and the way we in Israel think, nothing is impossible". The SpaceIL crew chose to continue with the mission - with or without the prize money - and kept dimensions of their lunar lander to a minimum and with as low redundancy as possible. The actual building of the spacecraft from full-scale development took just four years. The tiny State of Israel is set to join that prestigious club of cosmic superpowers.