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11.13.19
Earth Selfie

Israel’s Moon Lander Just Got Photobombed by the Earth

March 5th 19__Victor Tangermann__Filed Under: Off World
SpaceIL

Earth Selfie

Israel’s lunar lander Beresheet just snapped an impressive selfie — with a distant planet Earth looming in the background.

SpaceIL, the private Israeli space company that launched the lander last week, revealed the photo on Twitter this morning. The picture was taken 23,363 miles (37,600 km) from Earth.

Moon Lander

Beresheet launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Feb. 21 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, marking the first time a private lunar spacecraft has ever launched from Earth.

Currently Beresheet is slowly orbiting the Earth, making small adjustments to its trajectory to push it farther towards the Moon’s gravitational pull.

Computer Reset

A serious glitch concerning the lander’s sensitive “star tracker” navigation system discovered last week had the SpaceIL team worried, but the spacecraft’s main engines activated as expected days later. A subsequent unexpected computer reset was also found to be caused by cosmic radiation.

If all goes well, Beresheet will land on the Moon around April 11.

READ MORE: Israeli Moon Lander Snaps Epic Space Selfie with a Full Earth [Space.com]

More on Beresheet: Israeli Moon Lander Hits Serious Glitch in Orbit