Israeli Spacecraft Sends Selfie Images 23,000 Miles Above Earth

08 March, 2019, 06:28 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • Israeli spacecraft Beresheet snapped a selfie 37,600 above Earth

Israeli spacecraft Beresheet produced its first "selfie" during its journey to the moon on Tuesday, snapping a picture taken at a distance of 37,600 km 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.

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A plaque reads Small Country, Big Dreams and The People Of Israel Live.

Beresheet will remain in orbit until March 20, when it is planned to reach lunar capture orbit and eventually land on the moon's Sea of Serenity on April 11. The spacecraft's trackers, which were supposed to follow the stars, failed to work after launch, but on February 24, the spacecraft still managed to complete its first maneuver successfully when Beresheet's main engine was activated.

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The four-legged Beresheet, barely the size of a washing machine, will circle Earth in ever bigger loops until it's captured by lunar gravity and goes into orbit around the moon instead.

If is successfully lands, Israel will become the fourth lunar nation - China became the third, after the U.S. and the Soviet Union, in 2013.

The lander is the brainchild of three Israeli engineers running a nonprofit company SpaceIL partnered with Israel Aerospace Industries.

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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