First Israeli Spacecraft to the Moon Might Stay Grounded
15 December, 2017
The Israeli private Moon lander is almost ready for the launch - but is now in an urgent need for another $30 million extra funds - in order to compete the Google Lunar XPRIZE Moon Race
As the construction of the first Israeli spacecraft reaches completion, lack of immediate funds threatens to kill the project to land on the Moon. The Israeli SpaceIL completes these days the integration of the spacecraft, and ready to proceed to the testing phase. During this phase, the spacecraft will undergo a series of very costly tests in special facilities – at an Israel Aerospace Industries space facility and also facilities abroad – in order to ensure that it is able to withstand the extreme conditions of space. The organization said that funds must be raised in this final stretch to make sure the spacecraft will not stay grounded and make it to the Moon.
SpaceIL is a nonprofit organization thrives to promote science and scientific education in Israel, and is a finalist in the Google Lunar XPRIZE Moon Race. SpaceIL wants to prove that even a small country, with a small budget, can join the club consists of the USA, Russia and China, who up until now succeeded to land on the Moon. To complete its mission, SpaceIL now needs another $20 million by the end of 2017. Businessman Morris Kahn has pledged another $10 million if the remaining sum of $20 million will be raised from other private donors and from the government of Israel. This will result in total $30 million raising.
Since its founding, many have contributed to the project. The main donor is the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson Foundation. Additional supporters include Morris Kahn, Sami Sagol, Lynn Schusterman and Steven Grand, among others. The project formed exceptional collaborations between the private sector, the academia and governmental companies. Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI), the Weizmann Institute of Science, Tel-Aviv University, Israel Space Agency, Israeli Ministry of Science and Bezeq are among SpaceIL’s partners.