Israeli Spacecraft Took Selfie With Earth En Route to Moon

Katie Ramirez
March 8, 2019

Photo taken by the Beresheet spacecraft in which an Israeli flag can be seen on a plaque with the inscription, "Am Israel Hai", or "The Jewish People Lives", and in English, "Small country, big dreams", taken 37,600 kilometers from Earth.

"In the photo of Earth, taken during a slow spin of the spacecraft, Australia is clearly visible", the mission team said in today's photo advisory. On Feb. 21, the lander Beresheet-Hebrew for "in the beginning"-hitched a ride aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying Indonesia's Nusantara Satu satellite into orbit and set off".

So far, only Russian Federation, the United States and China have made the 384,000-kilometer (239,000-mile) journey and landed on the moon.

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NASA, which has installed equipment on Beresheet to upload its signals from the moon, says it is inviting private sector bids to build and launch the USA probes.

The mission partners, NGO SpaceIL and state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida on February 22.

Beresheet missed one of its early maneuvers due to a computer glitch, but it's back on an orbital itinerary that should lead to a landing in a relatively flat area of the moon known as Mare Serenitatis. It is scheduled to land on the moon a week after it is supposed to be "trapped" in the moon's orbit.

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