Israeli spacecraft sent first selfie on the way to moon mission; more signals to come
New Delhi : An Israeli spacecraft which is on its mission to moon has sent its first selfie back to Earth, mission chief confirms. The selfie image shows a part of the Beresheet spacecraft with Earth in the background was beamed to mission control in Yehud, Israel, 37,600 kilometres away, the project's lead partners said in a statement.
The Israel Aerospace Industries along with NGO SpaceIL has launched the unmanned Beresheet, Hebrew for Genesis from Cape Canaveral in Florida on February 22.
The 585 kg spacecraft lifted off a Falcon 9 rocket from the US-based private aerospace company, SpaceX. The mission is scheduled to last seven weeks, with the Beresheet due to touch down on April 11.
Till date, only Russia, the United States and China have made the 384,000-kilometre journey and landed on the moon.
The Israeli mission comes amid renewed global interest in the moon, 50 years after American astronauts first walked on its surface.
Besides the dedicated moon exploration mission, the spacecraft also carries a scientific instrument to measure the lunar magnetic field, which will help understanding of the moon's formation.
It also carries a "time capsule" loaded with digital files containing a Bible, children's drawings, Israeli songs, memories of a Holocaust survivor and the blue-and-white Israeli flag.
NASA has installed equipment on Beresheet to upload its signals from the moon, says it is inviting private sector bids to build and launch the US probes.