Selfie in space: Israeli spacecraft Genesis takes its first photo

The photo was taken during a slow spin before the Moon’s gravitational force will take effect.

By World Israel News Staff

On its way to a planned Moon landing next month, Israeli spacecraft Beresheet (“Genesis”) has taken a selfie. It was taken some 37,600 kilometers (20,000 miles) away from Earth. The Southern Hemisphere, including Australia, can be clearly seen in the background.

The photo was taken a week-and-a-half after the launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The photo was made possible due to the process of a slow spin of the spacecraft, before it will be pulled by the gravitational force of the Moon and the landing process is to begin.

Beresheet is scheduled to land on the Moon on April 11.

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.”

Israel’s first spacecraft launched on Feb. 21 in a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

Once Beresheet completes its lunar mission, Israel will join superpowers China, Russia, and the United States in landing a spacecraft on the moon. It will be the first such space capsule to land on the moon as part of a private initiative rather than on a government-funded enterprise.

The project originally launched as an effort to win the Google Lunar XPRIZE, which called for building, launching and landing an unmanned spacecraft on the moon.

Beresheet hit a couple of problems in the early going with a planned maneuver on Feb. 25 automatically cancelled. Prior to that sun glare affected its ability to orient itself. However, those issues appear to have been ironed out and no further problems were reported.