Israel's Beresheet lunar shuttle completes another maneuver on way to Moon

Eventually, the orbit will place it close enough to the Moon that it can jump into lunar orbit and then eventually land. If they can hit reset on a somewhat inauspicious start, the ambitious project could potentially be carrying something to the moon that you might not expect to find there: a library.

The spacecraft will remain in its current orbit until the next scheduled maneuver and remains on schedule due to several buffer days built into the engineers' plan.

"At this time, the spacecraft's systems are working well, except for the known problem in the star tracker", SpaceIL said in a statement.

Beresheet's first maneuver was a success on February 24, but a few days later a glitch caused the on-board computer to reset and a second maneuver was canceled as a result. The spacecraft uses the star tracker to locate itself in space with respect to chosen target stars. (43,000 miles) from Earth's surface. SpaceIL says it's looking into the situation with help from the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

Last week, a 30-million-page archive of human history and civilization launched aboard a spacecraft headed for the moon.

"Eight years ago, we ventured on this journey that is now nearing completion...."

"For many months, our teams and IAI's were engaged in testing the spacecraft and its systems, conducting complex experiments and preparing for every possible scenario of the mission", SpaceIL CEO Ido Antebi said. It will take the spacecraft seven weeks to reach the moon.

Earlier this week, President Reuven Rivlin noted that not only is this a national and historic achievement, it also aims to inspire young Israelis to study STEM-related (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields and pursue their dreams of space travel.

Vanessa Coleman

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