Israel's Beresheet spacecraft selfie camera continues to click away because the satellite performs its largest elliptical orbit around the Earth before a planned moon landing on April 11.
On Sunday, engineers with SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries released a number of images from Beresheet's camera, including one with the Earth from 265,000 kilometers above the planet's surface and a video of sunrise in space.
The four-legged Beresheet, about the size of a small car, circles the earth in ever larger elliptical loops until it manages into the orbit of the moon.
It is currently on the last loop around the earth, which will take place until April 4. Touchdown is scheduled for April 1
Apart from some small glitches with an unexpected system recovery and some problems with the star road tracking system, the spacecraft is on landing plane.
Even on Sunday, engineers released pictures of Beresheets landing equipment. The spacecraft has four landing legs that will move down on the moon surface.
Last week, the Beresheet engine was activated for 60 seconds and put it into a new orbit that takes it as far as 405,000 miles from Earth.
Beresheet, meaning "Genesis" in Hebrew, lifted off February 22 from Cape Canaveral on top of a Falcon 9 rocket from the private American space company Elon Musk from SpaceX.
Earlier this month, Beresheet sent back a photo taken with his "selfie camera", where the Israeli flag can be seen 37,600 kilometers above the earth.
A plaque installed on the outside of the moon mark shows Israel's national flag as well as the phrases "Am Yisrael Chai" (the people of Israel live) and "Small lands, great dreams."
NIS 370 milli ($ 100 million) Beresheet spacecraft is a joint venture between private companies SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries, funded almost entirely by private donations from well-known Jewish philanthropists. The project was launched as Israel's entry into the Google LunarX challenge for non-governmental groups to land a spacecraft on the moon. Google ended the 2018 competition without a winner, but the Israeli team decided to continue their efforts privately.
With Beresheet, Israel hopes to become the fourth country in the world to land a spacecraft on the moon, after the United States, Russia, and China.
If successful, Beresheet will make history twice: as the first private sector landed on the moon and the first vessel from Israel to reach orb.
If Beresheet successfully landing on April 11 space ship is expected to carry out two or three days of experiments trying to collect the moon's magnetic field data before closing. There, all 160 kilos (350 pounds) of lunar landers will stay, forever for eternity, on the moon's surface and go with about 181,000 kilos (400,000 pounds at Earth's weight) of artificial debris flowing over the moon's surface.
The distance between the earth and the moon is about 384,000 kilometers (240,000 miles). Berell's elliptical path, which saves fuel demand by utilizing the earth's traction, will cover about 6.5 million kilometers (4 million miles). The spacecraft travels at a speed of about 10 km / s (36,000 km / h) on its way to the moon, or 13 times faster than the maximum speed of an F15 fighter.