SpaceIL announced today that it has completed raising $70 million for the Beresheet 2 moonshot.
The announcement comes 30 months after the Beresheet1 spacecraft crashed on the Moon’s surface.
Since that time Israel Aerospace Industries, and the Ministry of Science and Technology have been examining what went wrong and how to rectify it in order to ensure the success of Beresheet 2.
The financing raised makes the lunar mission look viable with an estimated $100 million overall required to send the spacecraft to the Moon in 2024, as scheduled.
The $70 million is being donated to SpaceIL, which is a non-profit organization, by Morris Kahn, Patrick Drahi and Martin Moshal.
Kahn will serve as SpaceIL chairman and alongside him on the board of directors will be Angelina Drahi and Lina Drahi, Amalia Zarka head of the Drahi Foundation, Hot Communications CEO Tal Granot-Goldstein, i24 NEWS CEO Frank Melloul, among others.
Beresheet2 will comprise three craft – the mother craft, which will remain in space, and two landing craft with each responsible for different missions on the Moon.
The mother craft will continue orbiting the moon for five years.
The aim of Beresheet 2 is to promote innovation, entrepreneurship and scientific education and consolidate Israel’s position as a world power in these fields.
If successful, Beresheet 2 will be groundbreaking by simultaneously landing two craft on the Moon, and following in the footsteps of China by landing a craft on the far side of the Moon.
SpaceIL chairman Morris Kahn said, “The Beresheet project is my life’s mission, so I decided to take it up again. I plan to do everything that I can to take Israel back to the Moon, this time for a historic double landing.”
SpaceIL CEO Shimon Sarid said, “I thank our dear donors who believe in the power of this unique Beresheet 2 mission to arouse inspiration among an entire generation of students and dreamers and for their vote of confidence in the ability of SpaceIL to realize the task of this challenge, which will position the State of Israel and Israeli industry in the forefront of global technology and operations in outer space.”
In April 2019, Israel became the world’s seventh nation to reach the Moon and only the fourth national to land on the Moon after the US, Russia and China.
Header: A girl wears her official spacesuit costume at SpaceIL team headquarters in Tel Aviv. PHOTOGRAPH BY VINCENT FOURNIER