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See the far side of the moon through Israeli spacecraft's eyes

SpaceIL's Beresheet mission made it into moon orbit and snapped some views of the "dark side of the moon."


Beresheet took this shot from a height of 292 miles (470 kilometers) from the moon.

Eliran Avital

Cue up Pink Floyd. Israel is making history with its privately funded Beresheet moon mission, which hopes to set a lander down in the Sea of Serenity next week. But first it's getting a eyeful of the side of the moon we can't see from Earth.

Beresheet successfully entered into orbit around the moon on Thursday after launching on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in February and traveling over 3.4 million miles (5.5 million kilometers) along its journey. 

Beresheet snapped these scenic images of the far side of the moon during the lunar capture maneuver.


Beresheet caught this view of the far side of the moon with Earth in the background.

Eliran Avital

One of the images gives us a good look at the moon's pockmarked surface. The other features an Earth photobomb as our planet glows in the distance.

Beresheet is on track to land on the moon on April 11. According to a SpaceIL release, the spacecraft "will conduct a series of intense maneuvers" over the next week in preparation for the landing. 

If the touchdown is successful, then SpaceIL will be the first private, nongovernment group to place a lander on the surface of the moon. 

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