Small Country Big Dreams: Beresheet takes a selfie from space, photobombed by Planet Earth

JUST IN: First selfie of moon-bound Beresheet, photobombed by Planet Earth.

The picture, taken 37,000km from Earth, features the spacecraft’s plaque with the flag of Israel and the inscription: Am Israel Chai – Small Country Big Dreams.

The background is a view of Australia.

Small Country Big Dreams Beresheet takes a selfie from space, photobombed by Planet Earth

Right now, a backup copy of humanity’s collective knowledge is on its way to the surface of the Moon.

If Israel’s spacecraft venture proceeds as planned, it would become the fourth country after Russia, the US, and China, — and by far the smallest — country to do so.

It would also become the first private enterprise to make a controlled landing on the moon, with the smallest spacecraft to do it, and by far the least expensive mission.

Small Country Big Dreams Beresheet takes a selfie from space, photobombed by Planet Earth (3).jpg

The spacecraft—called “Beresheet,” a reference to the first words of the Bible in Hebrew: “In the beginning…”—will reach the moon on April 11 at the Sea of Serenity, from where it will send back images of the rocky surface and conduct experiments on the lunar magnetic field.

Its first task, however, will be to plant an Israeli flag on the moon.

Beresheet is carrying the Bible, the Declaration of Independence, the Israeli flag, images of historic Israeli milestones and a 30-million-page archive of human knowledge etched into a DVD-sized metal disc.

Small Country Big Dreams Beresheet takes a selfie from space, photobombed by Planet Earth (2).jpg

The Lunar Library, as the archive is known, constitutes a “civilization backup” to help ensure that our distant descendants never lose humanity’s collective wisdom.

Since people of the far future will presumably not have a DVD player handy, and might not speak any language now in use, the top of the Lunar Library’s disc is engraved with tiny images of books and other documents explaining human linguistics, along with instructions about how to read the library beneath.

“This is the #Bible going to the #Moon. It’s actually on a flash drive. It also contains the Declaration of Independence, the Israeli flag and images of historic Israeli milestones.  #IsraelToTheMoon”, SpaceIL tweeted.