Israeli spacecraft snaps Earth ‘selfie’ with flag from 23,000 miles away

Categories: Israeli Technology

The Beresheet spacecraft on Tuesday sent back a photo taken with its “selfie camera,” in which the Israeli flag can be seen 37,600 kilometers (23,000 miles) above Earth.

A plaque installed on the outside of the lunar lander depicts Israel’s national flag as well as the phrases “Am Yisrael Chai” (the people of Israel live) and “Small country, big dreams.”

The picture was taken during a slow spin of the aircraft, with Australia visible in the background.

The photo comes after the moon-bound craft successfully carried out a key maneuver Thursday night, following a worrisome computer glitch earlier last week.

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. The next maneuver is scheduled for this week.

Beresheet, which means “Genesis” in Hebrew, lifted from Cape Canaveral atop a Falcon 9 rocket from the private US-based SpaceX company of entrepreneur Elon Musk.

If successful, Beresheet will make history twice: as the first private-sector landing on the Moon, and the first from Israel.

The craft has also broken an Israeli speed record, traveling at 10.5 kilometers per second, said Opher Doron, general manager of the space division at Israel Aerospace Industries.

Read More: Times of Israel