Israel's spacecraft snaps first selfie on way to moon

  • Israel's spacecraft snaps first selfie on way to moon

Israel's spacecraft snaps first selfie on way to moon

SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) engineers conducted another successful maneuver by Beresheet.

A plaque displays Israel's flag with the inscriptions, "Am Israel Chai" ("the Jewish people lives") and, in English, "Small Country Big Dreams".

Curiosity and InSight aren't the only spacefaring crafts snapping selfies - Israel's Beresheet spacecraft shared an image of itself floating far above the Earth this 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.

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. So far, only Russian Federation, the United States and China have made the 384,000-kilometre journey and landed on the moon.

After landing, Beresheet will start carrying out scientific experiments on the lunar surface, including measuring and mapping the moon's magnetic field, the Israeli Science and Technology Ministry said. Prior to this, the record was held by China's Chang's e-4 that landed on moon in 3rd January.

The unmanned craft, weighing 1,300 pounds and standing about one metre tall and 2.3 metres wide, began the almost seven-week journey to the Moon last month. The Chinese space agency will now be focusing to build a solar-powered space station. It also carries stories of survivors from Holocaust, Bible, Children drawing and more. After China earlier this year, and now Israel, India hopes to become the fifth lunar country in the spring with its Chandrayaan-2 mission.