"During the maneuver, the height of Apollona (furthest distance from the Moon) was decreased from 750 kilometers to 200 kilometers from the moon and in fact became the Perilone, which is the point closest to the moon".
Israel's first mission to the Moon - the Beresheet spacecraft - has completed its long and winding journey out of Earth's orbit and entered the Moon's orbit on 4 April, pulling off an important manoeuvre ahead of its planned soft landing on the Moon next week.
SpaceIL developed Bereshit in collaboration with Israeli state-owned defense contractor Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI). Each time the rocket would fire its engine to push its speed even higher.
Beresheet is the smallest spacecraft ever to be sent to the moon. The craft slowed after it passed the moon for the first time, allowing the moon's gravity to pull it into orbit.
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On Thursday, Beresheet's engineers executed the most complicated maneuver yet, a perfectly choreographed space hop allowing the car-sized spacecraft to jump from an orbit around Earth to one around the moon - making Israel the seventh country in the world to achieve the feat. Beresheet is expected to attempt its landing on Thursday, 11 April 2019.
Until it gets to that point, the lander sent back a few photos of our satellite, showing the seldom seen dark side of the Moon.
Morris Kahn, chairman of SpaceIL who donated over $40 million to the project, said in a statement, "The lunar capture is an historic event in and of itself - but it also joins Israel in a seven-nation club that has entered the moon's orbit". It aims to land on a tiny target of just 20 square kilometers (7.7 square miles).