Arutz Sheva spoke to SpaceIL President Morris Kahn during the 2019 AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, DC.

SpaceIL designed and built the Beresheet spacecraft which is making its way to the moon.

“By the fourth of next month we should be able to make an adjustment and get ourselves into the gravitational pull of the moon where we’ll begin to go around the moon,” said Kahn, providing an update on Beresheet’s journey.

Asked what attracted him to this project, he said, “First of all, I felt it was a real challenge. It was exciting. But what really appealed me was actually the impact that we would do by succeeding. And the impact would be to actually put Israel on the map in the moon. To put Israel on the map in space. And I think we’re achieving this objective.”

“We started off as part of a competition, but as a matter of fact I think what we’re doing is we’re showing that a small country can innovate and achieve the same objective with a much smaller budget and a much smaller staff,” continued Kahn.

“The excitement in Israel is phenomenal and this is what we hope to achieve. We want to encourage young people, to excite them about math, science, technology – to excite them about space. We just celebrated Purim. If you looked at the kids on Purim, 90% of them dressed up as astronauts and the ones who weren’t astronauts built very innovative spacecrafts as part of their costumes. It was amazing.”

“The goal is to achieve a landing on the moon, show that Israel can do it, plant the flag and make us proud,” explained Kahn.