Israel spacecraft sends 'selfie' on maiden mission to moon
08 March, 2019, 06:25 | Author: Sherry Houston
The Israeli spacecraft Beresheet, which was launched off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida, two weeks ago on its way to a planned Moon landing next month, took its first selfie in space.
Ground control activated the spacecraft's main engine for four minutes, putting it into a new orbit that takes it to a distance of 131,000 kilometers from earth.
Also seen in the photo is a plaque installed on the spacecraft with the Israeli flag and inscriptions which read "Am Yisrael Chai" (the nation of Israel lives) and "Small Country, Big Dreams". The moon is about 240,000 miles away.
Beresheet is scheduled to land on the Moon on April 11.
The Beresheet spacecraft
Beresheet is Hebrew for "in the beginning". A touchdown would make Israel the fourth country to pull off a moon landing.
The Israeli mission comes amid renewed global interest in the moon, 50 years after American astronauts first walked on its surface.
The Beresheet lander, which is the size of a dishwasher and takes its name from the Hebrew phrase for "In the Beginning", was built by SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries with almost $100 million in backing from Israeli billionaire Morris Kahn, Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson and other private donors.
Beresheet, Israel's first unmanned rocket to the moon, may still have a long voyage ahead of it, but it's already taking selfies of it's journey.
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