An Israeli spacecraft on its maiden mission to the moon has sent its first selfie back to Earth. The image shows a part of the Beresheet spacecraft with Earth in the background. The selfie – which was taken some 37,600 km (20,000 miles) away from Earth – shows the Southern Hemisphere, and Australia can clearly be seen in the background.
NGO SpaceIL and state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries launched the unmanned Beresheet – Hebrew for Genesis — from Cape Canaveral in Florida on February 22. 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.
After China and Israel, India hopes to become the fifth lunar country with its Chandrayaan-2 mission. It aims to put a craft with a rover onto the moon’s surface to collect data.