Optimism is rife within SpaceIL, the development team behind the design of the privately funded Israeli moon-bound Beresheet, as it made another step closer towards completing its lunar voyage.
The spacecraft which was launched aboard Elon Musk’s SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket amidst jubilation from Israeli citizens, had hit a snag when it failed to complete a second maneuver as its systems unfortunately reset.
The Space Division Manager of the Israeli Aerospace Industries, Opher Doron had expressed uncertainty whether the delayed engine burn would affect would affect the spacecraft’s voyage to the moon.
He, however, noted that it was quite normal for a spacecraft to encounter teething problems in its first days.
The tide has turned ever since, as the planned maneuver this week has been successfully performed by the spacecraft.
The Beresheet took a selfie of our planet from a distance of over 23,000 miles and sent it to a control room in Yehud, Israel. The image features the Southern Hemisphere with Australia clearly visible in the background.
The image also reveals a plaque that had been installed at the front of the spacecraft, featuring an Israeli flag with the message underneath ‘Am Yisrael Chai’ which translates to Long Live the Nation of Israel.
An inscription on the flag also read ‘Small Country, Big Dreams’ which is a direct reference to the Theodore Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, known for his famous quote: If you will it, it is no dream.
Ofir Akunis, the Israeli Minister of Science and Technology made a bold claim that the selfie was proof of the nation’s technological might. He noted that despite the size of the spacecraft (not more than the size of a dishwasher), it has brought great joy to the people of Israel. He was also proud to associate his Ministry to the SpaceIL project.
The spacecraft is still scheduled to land on the moon on April 11th.