The Israeli spacecraft Beresheet (Genesis) took a spectacular selfie with Earth 23,364 miles (37,600 km) in the background. The shot was taken from Beresheet on its way to the moon after launching from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on February 21. She is expected to land on the lunar surface on April 11.
The picture showing part of the spacecraft with Earth in the background was beamed to mission control in Yehud, Israel. The Hebrew below the flag reads, Am Yisrael Hai, “The People of Israel Live.” The shadow on the sign is from one of the spacecraft’s wings. SpaceIL posted the selfie on Twitter.
On her maiden voyage to the lunar surface, Israeli technicians thought a selfie would be a great way to let us all back on earth know that hakol beseder, “Everything is A-OK.”
Last week, Beresheet encountered a technical glitch during the first leg of its voyage. Engineers at SpaceIL said that the onboard computer system unexpectedly reset, canceling a maneuver that would keep the small spacecraft on track for its April landing. The tiniest movement will send the craft off course and into outer space beyond the moon’s gravity. SpaceIL said that scientists examined the computer resets and implemented “corrective measures” with Beresheet conducting a successful maneuver on February 28. The spacecraft’s main engine needed to be activated for four minutes to return the it to its planned orbit. On its winding journey, Beresheet will orbit the Earth at least six times before being slingshot to the moon.
Reaching the moon will make Israel only the fourth country – following the U.S., the Soviet Union and China – to have made a successful landing on the lunar surface. The Israeli spacecraft is carrying a 30-million-page archive of humanity’s achievements, including a copy of the Bible.