The XPrize Foundation announced on Thursday that it will award a $ 1 million "Moonshot" award to the Israeli nonprofit SpaceIL if its lands Beresheet successfully touches the moon's surface.
Beresheet touch is set to turn history into April 11 as the first privately funded craft for land on the moon as well as the first Israeli. Although the United States, Russia and China have reached the moon, their missions were funded and run by governmental organizations.
"SpaceIL's mission represents the democratization of space research," said Peter Diamandis, founder of XPrize when he announced the "Moonshot Award" on Thursday.
"We are optimistic about seeing this first domino in which we end a chain reaction of more affordable and repeatable commercial missions to the moon and beyond," added Diamandis.
Beresheet was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on February 21
SpaceIL first launched the $ 20 million Google Lunar XPrize competition, which ended last year without a winner, as neither team could start their missions by the end of March 2018.
But, SpaceIL decided yet to Continue its search for partnership with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), Israel's Space Agency and Israel's Ministry of Science and Technology. 9659003] The Israeli entrepreneur Morris Kahn, originally from South Africa and the founder of the Israeli high-tech company Amdocs, was SpaceIL's biggest founder. Other contributors include the Adelson Family Foundation, Science and Technology, ISA, Weizmann and other private citizens.
Landing on the moon does not come cheap. SpaceIL told The Verge that the moon mission's price tag was $ 90 million, of which only $ 2 million was granted by the Israeli government.