The deep-space flight via Orion spacecraft in the mission called Artemis I, which was launched just less than two weeks ago from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is currently orbiting the moon with two mannequins aboard - both sporting an Israeli flag.
If successful, the experiment may lay the foundation for sending astronauts to the moon within the next few years, and even contribute to studies on humans’ long-term presence in space.
The crew aboard the spacecraft consists of mannequins Zohar and Helga. Zohar is wearing an AstroRad radiation protection vest developed by the Israeli company StemRad. The vest is meant to protect astronauts from harmful radiation and cosmic rays in space.
On Monday, NASA published photos of Zohar and Helga in space. In the picture, Helga's suit shows the flags of Germany, Israel, and the U.S.
On Israel Space Agency account, Zohar tweeted in Hebrew: "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 taking a selfie with the Moon in the background.
SpaceIL, the Israeli organization that was part of the Beresheet lunar probe launch, addressed the chain conversation: "Hi Zohar, Helga and Moonikin - we took a selfie on the Moon first!" Attached to the Hebrew written Tweet was the famous image of the Beresheet probe.
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!"
SpaceIL answered: "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!"