Israel's participant in the Google Lunar X Prize to land a spacecraft on the moon, SpaceIL, has received a $16.4 million donation from the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Family Foundation, giving the non-profit organization a boost toward completing construction of its highly innovative spacecraft and launch to the moon.
SpaceIL has strong grassroots support and has obtained donations from Morris Kahn and the Schusterman Family Foundation. It also has backing from Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) (TASE: ARSP.B1), the Israel Space Agency, Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Co. Ltd. (TASE: BEZQ), Tel Aviv University, and Weizmann Institute of Science. The funds also support SpaceIL’s core mission to create an Israeli “Apollo Effect,” inspiring the next generation to think differently about science, technology, engineering and math.
SpaceIL is building the world’s smallest spacecraft loaded with groundbreaking innovation in space exploration. The project’s total budget is currently estimated at $36 million. It aims to show that space exploration is no longer limited to superpowers with vast space programs, and that any group, small country or university can get involved and contribute to advancing scientific discovery. SpaceIL hopes its technological breakthroughs spur a new wave of commercial space-related industries in Israel.
"SpaceIL intends to expand its educational program and invest the needed resources in building the spacecraft. We only get one chance to succeed, so we intend to do all we can to increase our odds", said SpaceIL CEO Eran Privman.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 10, 2014
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