The Israeli vessel Beresheet has sent out its first selfie. The picture shows the soil in the background, as the vessel continues its journey to the moon.
The image was sent over a distance of 37,600 kilometers to Yehud in Israel, the organization SpaceIL said and the state-owned company Israel Aerospace Industries Tuesday. With the soil in the background, one can see a poster attached to the vessel itself, with the text “Little country, big dreams”.
Beresheet, which is a Hebrew word for creation, was sent to Earth with a Falcon 9 rocket from Elon Musk’s SpaceX company from Cape Canaveral, Florida on February 21. Since then, Beresheet has gone into ever-increasing elliptical orbit around the Earth.
At the beginning of April, unmanned Beresheet is expected to be close to the moon to enter the moon path. Landing is scheduled for April 11th. The 585 kg heavy vessel is the size of a washing machine. It includes instruments to study the moon’s magnetic fields. With them, Beresheet also has a time capsule with, among other things, hundreds of digital files and a Hebrew Bible the size of a coin.
If the landing succeeds, Israel will be the fourth country to land a vessel on the moon. Only Russia, the United States and China have managed to do this before.
India is hoping to become the fifth country to do the trick. Japan also plans to send a landing vessel to the moon. The United States, in turn, is planning new moon missions, and NASA is planning to build a space station named Gateway to go moon-lane by 2026.