Published: Fri, March 08, 2019
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Israeli spacecraft snaps out-of-this-world selfie during moon voyage

Israeli spacecraft snaps out-of-this-world selfie during moon voyage

SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) on Tuesday released a selfie taken by the Israeli spacecraft "Beresheet" (Genesis), which is scheduled to land on the moon on April 11.

Also seen is the plaque installed on the spacecraft, with the Israeli flag and the inscriptions "Am Yisrael Chai" and "Small Country, Big Dreams". It was taken some 37,600 kilometers (20,000 miles) away from Earth. 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". The the only country to send humans to the moon with 12 men walking on its surface during the Apollo missions between 1969-1972.

For Israel, the landing itself is the main mission, but the spacecraft also carries a scientific instrument to measure the lunar magnetic field, which will help understanding of the moon's formation.

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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 US probes.

Beresheet was launched from Cape Canaveral on February 22 at 3:45 am.

The craft is expected to take seven weeks to complete the 384,000km to the moon. Japan, the European Space Agency and India have all crash-landed probes on the moon.

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