Beresheet, the historic Israeli spacecraft sent to the moon, has beamed back its first photos of the far/dark side of the moon.
Beresheet – Israel’s historic spacecraft, which entered lunar orbit yesterday on its journey to the moon – is on an “excellent” track, according to overnight data from the SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) engineering teams at their control room in Yehud, Israel.
During its lunar orbit, Beresheet will be at its nearest point to the moon (perilune) at 470 km (292 miles) from the lunar surface, and the farthest from the moon (apolune) at 10,400 km (6,462 miles).
Beresheet is scheduled to land on the moon at about 11 p.m. Israel time on April 11 – though a more definite time will be announced in the next few days. During the coming week, SpaceIL and IAI will conduct a series of intense maneuvers with the spacecraft in preparation for the landing.
Yesterday, during the critical Lunar Capture maneuver, when the spacecraft entered the moon’s orbit from the Earth’s orbit, Beresheet provided dramatic pictures of the moon while activating its engines.