Israel’s Beresheet spacecraft is getting closer to making its historic landing on the near side of the moon. Before it even happens, it has sent back some amazing pictures of the far side of the moon.
Far Side Of The Moon
SpaceIL’s Beresheet spacecraft is set to make history in the coming days as the first privately funded moon mission, and it is also marks the beginning of Israel’s space era. On April 4, after weeks of spiraling out of the Earth’s orbit, Beresheet has finally entered the lunar orbit.
While performing a complex lunar capture maneuver, Beresheet captured stunning images of the far side of the moon, which SpaceIL then gladly shared with the world. In one image, the young and old craters on the far side of the moon can be seen, and in a second photograph, apart from the far side of the moon, the Earth can also be seen in the background as a small, white dot.
Evidently, those images of the moon’s surface were taken from about 292 miles (470 kilometers) above the moon.
If things go according to plan, Beresheet will land on the near side of the moon on April 11, making Israel the seventh nation to successfully build a spacecraft that has orbited the moon. It would also make them recipients of XPrize’s inaugural “Moonshot Award” and receive $1 million.
Although the science goals of Beresheet are rather limited, it also brought with it a 30-million-page archive of the human civilization, which serves as a backup just in case the human race is wiped out. But more importantly, SpaceIL’s mission is intended to inspire the young children of Israel and all over the world to pursue education in science, engineering, and entrepreneurship.