We all just photobombed this lunar lander’s first selfie

The privately funded lunar lander Beresheet snaps a quick selfie with its planet of origin in the background.


After a perfect launch and a few hiccups on the first leg of its journey, the moon-bound Israeli spacecraft Beresheet took a selfie to show how far it’s come.  

The history-making lunar lander actually began its journey with the Google Lunar XPrize and hopes to complete the first privately funded mission to the moon’s surface. It took the above photo at a distance of 37,600 kilometers (23,363.5 miles) from Earth and sent it back to a control room in Yehud, Israel. 

Beresheet is currently performing a number of Earth orbits that will grow increasingly elliptical until the washing machine-size spacecraft transitions to a lunar orbit in preparation for a landing attempt in April. 

A computer issue caused the lander to automatically cancel one of its burns, but it was successfully carried out a few days later. Mission engineers say Beresheet remains on track to make it to the moon. If it goes the distance, we should expect a lot more imagery.

The first selfie with Earth photobombing in the background also captures a plaque installed on Beresheet with the Israeli flag and the inscriptions “Am Yisrael Chai” (which basically means “the nation of Israel lives”) and “Small Country, Big Dreams.”

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