Beresheet circles moon once every two hours

Beresheet circles moon once every two hours

Israel's spacecraft Beresheet fired its engines for 78 seconds to tighten its orbit around the moon yesterday.

"Beresheet entered a circular orbit of 200 km above the moon and will circle it once every two hours," SpaceIL officials tweeted.

The Beresheet space probe is scheduled to touch down between 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET on April 11., settling on a vast lava plain on the lunar nearside known as Mare Serenitatis, or the Sea of Serenity. The landing will be livestreamed by SpaceIL.

If all goes well, Beresheet — the name means “genesis” in Hebrew — will not only be the first Israeli spacecraft on the moon but also the first privately funded one to reach the lunar surface, NBC News MACH reported.