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The first Israeli lunar spacecraft project is in danger of closing

Only three weeks before the completion of the construction of the first Israeli lunar spacecraft, 20 million dollars are needed by the end of the year in order to prevent the closure of the activity * The implications are the cancellation of the launch of the spacecraft planned for 2018 and the cessation of all educational activities of the Space IL association, just before the launch * According to the association, another 30 are needed million dollars, of which businessman and philanthropist Morris Kahn pledged to donate an additional $10 million if $20 million is raised

Recent visualization of the first Israeli spacecraft courtesy of spaceil.
Recent visualization of the first Israeli spacecraft. Courtesy of spaceil.

Eran Pribman, CEO of the Space IL association, notes: "We are at a critical juncture in the life of the project. In about three weeks we will complete the space train and we will be able to move forward to the testing phase. Unfortunately, if we do not manage to immediately raise 20 million dollars, we will not be able to continue the activity and seven years of pioneering Israeli development and hard work will go down the drain. Beyond that, we had to stop the educational activities of the association, which works to promote science education among hundreds of thousands of children, starting in January.

Without the immediate raising of 20 million dollars, it will not be possible to complete the project of launching the first Israeli spacecraft to the moon and the SpaceIL association, for all its activities, will close already at the beginning of 2018, SpaceIL officially announced. The association was established about seven years ago with the aim of launching the first Israeli spacecraft to the moon as part of an international competition by Google - Google Lunar XPRIZE and pledged to donate the winning prize to the promotion of scientific-technological education in Israel.

So far, the association has raised an amount of 55 million dollars, but a total of 85 million dollars is needed to complete the project. In recent years, the businessman and philanthropist Maurice Kahn, who until recently served as chairman of the association, donated about 18 million dollars. Kahn commits to an additional donation of 10 million dollars, if the rest of the amount (20 million dollars) is raised from other donors and the state.

Over the years, many more have contributed to the project. The main donor is the Miriam and Sheldon Adelson Foundation. Sami Segol, Lynn Shusterman, Steven Grand and more also contributed. The project created an extraordinary collaboration between the private sector, government companies and academia. The project partners include the Aerospace Industry, the Weizmann Institute, Tel Aviv University, the Israel Space Agency, Bezeq, as well as dozens of engineers and hundreds of volunteers from the association. At the same time as promoting the pioneering technological project, over the years the association has carried out an extensive educational activity with the aim of creating an "Apollo effect" in Israel. Over the years, the association's volunteers have appeared before half a million children and teenagers all over the country.

The skeleton of the first Israeli spacecraft being assembled at TAA November 17. Photo: TAA.
The skeleton of the first Israeli spacecraft being assembled at the Israel Air Force Base. Photo: TAA.

In October 2015, SpaceIL marked a dramatic milestone in the project, when it became the first group to announce a launch contract and even qualified for the finals of the competition, alongside: India, Japan, the USA and an international group. The launch of the spacecraft is expected to be during the coming year on a launch rocket of the American space giant, SpaceX.

Pribman also added: "Although we started as a private enterprise within the framework of a Google competition, the project has already broken boundaries and become a national project, both in terms of the technological achievement of launching the first Israeli spacecraft to the moon and in terms of the values ​​and the extensive educational activity we created. The project is an extraordinary achievement for the State of Israel and an inspiration to the younger generation. So far, the association has received a commitment from the Ministry of Science for support of 2.5 million dollars."

It should be noted that according to the rules of the competition, the government can help and increase its support up to 8.5 million dollars.

As mentioned, the construction of the spacecraft is in its final stages, the spacecraft's engines and antennas have already been assembled and additional electronic components are being assembled these days. During the next three weeks, the final stage in preparing the spacecraft for launch should begin at the Space Factory in Israel - the testing phase. All this will go down the drain if the money is not raised.

The SpaceIL association was founded in 2011 by three young engineers: Yariv Bash, Kafir Demari and Jonathan Weintraub who responded to the challenge, today it employs about 50 salaried workers and another 200 volunteers in educational activities all over the country.

The association's website for donations:

See more on the subject on the science website:

4 תגובות

  1. Working with the eyes to raise funds for all science organizations.
    After all, it is already known that no one has yet reached the moon and everything is a work of Photoshop in the eyes of directors, screenwriters and Hollywood actors to obtain funds from the public.

  2. For the tyrannical ruler Del Israel, it is more important to establish his pantheistic rule over sleep and science.

  3. It is also possible not to launch the spaceship.
    See the results of the Halabya ​​project.
    An industry was established that has been thriving ever since.
    In total, a lot of knowledge and experience has been accumulated and it can be used for other needs and areas.
    I wish the government would come to its senses in time and give the missing amount from the chief scientist's budget.
    But as in Israel, those who do not have a political lobby and a political agenda will not receive budgets.

    I would be happy if I got lost.

  4. It is also possible to raise money from the public. Through appropriate publicity, contact the public and collect donations from them. The donations will be small, but cumulatively you can reach respectable amounts.

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