Beresheet wows the world with another selfie and a sunrise

Kobi Kaminitz, a space administrator at Space IL told The Jerusalem Post's sister paper Maariv that "there are six cameras installed on the spacecraft under the top plate of the spacecraft."

March 24, 2019 17:09
1 minute read.
Beresheet wows the world with another selfie and a sunrise

The Israeli spacecraft Beresheet takes a selfie 265,000 km from Earth. (photo credit: BERESHEET)


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Israeli spacecraft Beresheet has taken another selfie with its home planet Earth from 265,000 kilometers away, Space IL and Israel Aerospace Industries announced on Sunday.

The spacecraft also recorded and communicated a video of the sun rising.

"In the video, Earth can be seen hiding the sun from the spacecraft and then exiting this same shadow, which was created by the Earth and the sun's exposure," the space organizations explained in a statement. "This process creates a kind of sunrise image."

The craft also took a picture of South America from a distance of 15,000 kilometers away, as well as a picture of Israel from 131,000 kilometers away.

There are six cameras installed on the spacecraft under the top plate of the spacecraft, explained Kobi Kaminitz, a space administrator at Space IL , speaking with The Jerusalem Post's sister paper Maariv. He said  five of them are designed to photograph the moon in 360 degrees, and another is the Salafi camera, which captures the plaque and the lunar soil. 
Asked what is it like to install cameras onto a spaceship, and what environmental conditions they come up against out in space, Kaminitz explained that "in terms of size, the cameras are quite similar to the DSLR camera, and the performance is similar.

He said the difference is that after a month or more outer space, where temperatures can range from minus 50 to 100 degrees, "a home camera or a telephone camera would fall apart." These cameras do not.

With Beresheet always on the move, Kaminitz highlighted that it takes photographs while is in a state of cruising and revolves around its axis for up to about a second, meaning that it is doing a kind of slow rotation.

"We do not know our direction in real time, so when we have the conditions to shoot an interesting picture, we take six pictures and know that at least one will be damaged," he added.

The spacecraft that launched in February is on its way to a planned moon landing, which is scheduled to happen next month, on April 11, if all its maneuvers complete correctly. 

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