Israel’s Lunar Lander Just Snapped a Breathtaking Selfie With Earth

The image was taken a distance of 37,600 kilometers away from Earth.

Two weeks ago, Israel made history as they launched their very first lunar lander into space.

With help from SpaceX, the private lunar lander is on its journey to the moon’s surface.

An artists rendering of the Beresheet lunar lander.
An artist’s rendering of the Beresheet lunar lander.

It will take time to get there, so in the meantime, it can take a few pictures so we can see what it can see.

And the very first image we received from the lander is a breathtaking selfie with Earth popping up behind it.

The lander, called Beresheet, which means “in the beginning” is part of the $100 million mission led by a nonprofit called SpaceIL, based in Tel Aviv University and funded by South African billionaire Morris Kahn.

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The selfie, which Earth decided to photobomb, was taken some 37,600 kilometers from Earth and shows a placard of the Israeli flag below which it reads “small country, big dreams”.

Image Credit: SpaceIL.
Image Credit: SpaceIL.

The lunar lander is expected to land on the moon’s surface on April 11. If everything goes as planned, Israel will become the fourth country in the history of Earth to successfully land on the lunar surface, joining the U.S, Russia, and China.

“I wanted to show that Israel – this little country with a population of about 6 or 8 million people – could actually do a job that was only done by three major powers in the world: Russia, China, and the United States,” Kahn told Business Insider before the lander was launched into space.

The spacecraft is slowly traveling towards the moon but has already experienced a number of problems.

The first major issue that caused scientists to worry was an onboard computer error. This caused the spacecraft’s system to reboot.

The timing of the error was terrible as it took place just before a scheduled engine burn, which caused the spacecraft to miss the maneuver.

Thankfully, scientists managed to successfully recover the spacecraft and got Beresheet back on course.

“It’s quite normal for a new spacecraft to have some teething problems in its first days, and we’ve overcome them all, so we are quite happy,” explained Opher Doron, a member of the Beresheet mission.

“The Moon seems to be getting within reach.”

The lunar lander is expected to touch down in Mare Serenitatis, aka the “Sea of Serenity.”

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