An image captured by the Beresheet lunar lander shows a plaque with the Israeli flag in the foreground, and Earth in the background. (Beresheet / SpaceIL Photo)
An Israeli lunar lander gets photobombed by Earth in a selfie released today by SpaceIL’s Beresheet mission team.
The selfie was captured from a distance of more than 23,000 miles (37,600 kilometers) as the Beresheet lander went through maneuvers aimed at getting it to a lunar landing next month.
“In the photo of Earth, taken during a slow spin of the spacecraft, Australia is clearly visible,” the mission team said in today’s photo advisory. “Also seen is the plaque installed on the spacecraft, with the Israeli flag and the inscriptions ‘Am Yisrael Chai’ and ‘Small Country, Big Dreams.’ ”
The Beresheet lander, which is the size of a dishwasher and takes its name from the Hebrew phrase for “In the Beginning,” was built by SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries with nearly $100 million in backing from Israeli billionaire Morris Kahn, Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson and other private donors.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket sent Beresheet into orbit on Feb. 21, with a logistical assist from Seattle-based Spaceflight. Since then, the spacecraft has ...