An Israeli has been transmitting messages to Earth while in orbit around the Moon, the Israel Space Agency jokingly announced as a humorous series of tweets were exchanged between the Israel Space Agency account and that of NASA's Artemis Mission.
Communicating in Hebrew is Zohar the manikin torso, one of three astronaut-stand-ins taking part in the Artemis I mission, which saw the Orion spacecraft take off to orbit the Moon. She is accompanied by fellow manikin torso Helga, from Germany, and Commander Moonikin Campos. The former is meant to test the Orion Crew Survival System and make sure the Orion spacecraft is safe for humans. Zohar and Helga, however, are taking part in the Matroshka AstroRad Radiation Experiment (MARE), which will provide data on radiation levels in lunar missions as well as test the usability of the AstroRad vests.
After its launch, the Orion spacecraft officially began to orbit the Moon, with Zohar tweeting on the Israel Space Agency account "Hi Helga and Commander Moonikin Campos, I already see the Moon, come for a selfie?"
"Are you ready? Smile and say hello!" the NASA Artemis Mission account replied, after which the official account of the German space agency DLR replied, "Hallo, shalom!"
"This is my favorite moment so far," Zohar replied, including a cartoon of the three astronaut stand-ins taking a selfie with the Moon in the background.
זה הרגע האהוב עליי עד עכשיו pic.twitter.com/QLYfyUDXHf— Israel Space Agency (@ILSpaceAgency) November 28, 2022
Not the first Israeli selfie on the Moon
Not to be outdone, SpaceIL, the Israeli nonprofit that helped launch the Beresheet lunar probe, chimed in with "Hi Zohar, Helga and Moonikin - we took a selfie on the Moon first!" Attached was the famous image of the Beresheet probe right before its crash landing on the lunar surface.
The NASA Artemis Mission account replied, "We're having a lot of fun here, wait until you see our pictures from the orbit around the Moon!" This was accompanied by a picture of the Moon taken from a distance.
SpaceIL then decided to hype up its own impending return to the Moon in 2025 with the Beresheet 2 mission, saying that "We hope you reserved a parking spot for us, we'll be on our way soon. In 2025, two Beresheet 2 landers will land on both sides of the Moon!"
Zohar, in reference to the first Beresheet probe's crash landing, replied "Soft landing."
Commander Moonikin hijacks the NASA Artemis Mission.... on Twitter
Earlier today, Commander Moonikin Campos himself hijacked the NASA Artemis Mission Twitter account, discussing how he and his crew are flying around the Moon.
I am joined on the #Artemis I mission by my two trusted companions, Helga and Zohar, aka the #LunaTwins! Not only are Helga and Zohar joining me here inside @NASA_Orion… they are also joining me here on @Twitter! pic.twitter.com/ubAqyVvAYk— NASA Artemis (@NASAArtemis) November 28, 2022
This was followed by another tweet including actual pictures of the commander's "trusted companions, Helga and Zohar."