Beresheet spacecraft succeeds in latest maneuver, bringing it closer to moon

WATCH: Israel's Beresheet Lunar Lander Snaps Stunning Pics of Far Side of the Moon

Israel's Beresheet enters lunar orbit, becomes 7th nation to achieve feat

SpaceIL was a competitor in Google's Lunar X-Prize competition.

SpaceIL's Beresheet spacecraft snapped this view of the moon.

Update, April 8, 6:15 pm ET: The SpaceIL website now has a countdown clock showing the time to landing, which puts it at about 4:00 pm ET April 11.

Its launch in February was the fruit of an eight-year-long project undertaken by the SpaceIL non-profit organisation and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). The name בראשית is prounounced "beresheet" and is roughly translated from Hebrew to English to mean "Genesis" - aka the beginning. Recently, Beresheet and moon passed close enough to each other with the gravity of the moon. It's expected that they will land on the moon on April 11th, 2019.

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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.

Israel would become the fourth country after the USA, the Soviet Union and China to make a soft landing on the moon.

Kahn is expected to speak about the mission and answer questions in an interactive YouTube Live session at 7 pm IST (4.30 pm local time in Israel). It is roughly the size of a washing machine, reaching a height of 1.5 meters, about two meters in width, and weighing just 600 kilograms. Together with four other teams - Moon Express, Synergy Moon, Teamindus, and Hakuto - SpaceIL raced to develop low-priced methods of robotic space exploration.

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