Israel’s second mission to the moon awarded $1 million by Genesis Prize; Prize given for Jewish achievements and to coincide with Israel’s 71st independence celebrations.

Israel’s SpaceIL will receive $1 million from the Genesis Prize Foundation towards the launch of Beresheet 2, Israel’s second attempt to land on the moon. Beresheet means Genesis, as it was Israel’s first attempt to land on the moon.

The Genesis Prize Foundation provides awards for Jewish achievements, this year choosing Israel’s space mission to celebrate last month’s historical moment, as well as Israel’s 71st Independence Day. It announced, “For months, Israel and the Jewish community around the world were mesmerized by Israel’s audacious effort to land the “Beresheet” spacecraft on the moon. We held our collective breath in the final moments of the lander’s descent to the lunar surface and shared in the disappointment when the landing did not go as planned… On this Yom Ha’atzmaut – Israel Independence Day – in honor of our friend and partner Morris Kahn, and in celebration of the 71st anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel, The Genesis Prize Foundation (GPF) announced its $1 million grant to support Beresheet 2.”

In April, Beresheet, Israel’s first spacecraft to the moon, failed to land. During the last 14 minutes of the mission, one of the engines was damaged and communication lost just minutes before the historic landing. While the mission was not successful, it placed Israel in history as the 7th country to complete a lunar orbit following the USA, EU, former USSR, Japan, China and India.

Israel announced it would send a second spacecraft to the moon after last month’s mission failed. The announcement was made by SpaceIL’s President and main funder, Morris Kahn, just a day following the mission. The organization and mission were entirely privately funded and cost around $100 million. Private donations have already been made towards the second mission, and Israel’s Ministry of Science and Technology allocated $5.5 million for the next spacecraft.

Once Israel lands on the moon, its satellite will be used for scientific research and data gathering, mainly on the moon’s magnetic field using a magnetometer, by both Israel and NASA.


Photo: taffpixture/