A privately funded mission is on course to orbit the moon on 4 April. All being well, the 150kg spacecraft will then attempt to land a week later.
An Israeli not-for-profit organisation, SpaceIL, owns the Beresheet craft, which was built by the space division of Israel Aerospace Industries, and launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on 22 February.
The $100m (£75m) mission has been financed by billionaires and was once a contender for the Google Lunar XPrize. The competition was cancelled when SpaceIL and the other contestants missed the March 2018 launch deadline.
The mission has experienced a number of technical glitches on its journey but the flight team has learned to work around them, and SpaceIL says the spacecraft is now functioning as expected.
It is carrying an Israeli-made magnetometer to measure the moon’s magnetic field, a Nasa-built reflector to enable scientists to measure the distance to the moon using lasers on Earth and a digital time capsule containing 30m pages of data, including a copy of the English-language version of Wikipedia.
Beresheet is the Hebrew word for the book of Genesis and translates as “in the beginning”.