Destination Moon in 2 Weeks

YERUSHALAYIM -

The Israeli moon shot passed another milestone on Tuesday, executing its fourth and final maneuver on a lunar trajectory, on course for a landing in the Sea of Serenity on April 11.

The spacecraft Beresheet’s engine was activated for 60 seconds, putting it into a new orbit that takes it as far as 405,000 kilometers (252,000 miles) from Earth.

The landing promises a double first: the first private-sector landing on the moon by anyone, and the first time Israel has touched down there.

The SpaceIL firm, which built the spacecraft and is controlling its operations, said the maneuver was performed a day ahead of schedule, and that smaller adjustments to the craft’s orbit would be carried out over the coming days.

A previous maneuver last month was delayed by several days following a computer malfunction, but was then& performed successfully.

Beresheet was launched on February 22 from Cape Canaveral atop a Falcon 9 rocket from the U.S.-based SpaceX company of entrepreneur Elon Musk.