Rocket carrying Beresheet spacecraft lifts off in Cape Canaveral
Rocket carrying Beresheet spacecraft lifts off in Cape CanaveralReuters

The Blavatnik Family Foundation has provided a one million dollar grant to SpaceIL to support the “Beresheet 2” spacecraft program and advance the goal of landing an unmanned Israeli spacecraft on the Moon. “Beresheet 1”, launched on February 22, 2019, made Israel the 7th country in the world to reach the Moon’s orbit. The new Blavatnik grant will enable SpaceIL to recruit a new CEO to drive plans for "Beresheet 2" forward.

“Israel is internationally known for its groundbreaking achievements in science and technology, and holds unlimited potential for achieving astounding breakthroughs in space exploration", said Len Blavatnik, head of the Blavatnik Family Foundation. "The Israeli spirit of innovation and determination is well-suited to drive the Beresheet program to new heights and make Israel a leader in space."

"We're honored to welcome Len Blavatnik to the SpaceIL family", said Yariv Bash, co-founder of SpaceIL. "We have full confidence in Beresheet 2 and our outstanding team, and we're excited at what the future holds for SpaceIL, for Israeli space innovation and space exploration at large."

SpaceIL, an Israeli non for-profit organization, was established in 2011 to promote scientific and technological education in Israel. Upon its founding, the organization’s aim was to land the first Israeli aircraft on the Moon.

Daniel Shinar, CEO of ClalTech, the Israeli venture arm of Mr. Blavatnik’s company Access Industries, will join SpaceIL’s board as an observer.