Projection of Israel's Beresheet spaceship landing on moon
Projection of Israel's Beresheet spaceship landing on moonCourtesy SpaceIL

Israel's space exploration program, SpaceIL, announced today that it had obtained financing for the remarkable amount of $70 million, paving its way to a second mission to the Moon. Financing was obtained from a group of entrepreneurs-philanthropists, comprising Patrick Drahi (Patrick and Lina Drahi Foundation), Morris Kahn (Kahn Foundation) and the Moshal Space Foundation, in partnership with Entrée Capital.

“Beresheet 2” is expected to make Israel the first country in history to land two spacecrafts in a single mission.

The entire cost of the mission is estimated at approximately US $100 million.

The “Beresheet2” mission is planned to break several records in global space history, including the first-ever double Moon landing on a single mission, landing on the far side of the Moon (which, to date, only China had accomplished), the landing crafts (attached to the mothership) will be the smallest ever launched into space (each weighing 120 kg with fuel and 60 kg without).

In addition, the mothership, which is planned to undertake a long-term five-year mission, is expected to serve as a platform for educational science activities in Israel and worldwide, via a remote connection that will enable students in multiple countries to take part in deep-space scientific research.

Angelina Drahi, Chairperson of the Patrick and Lina Drahi Foundation: “We are delighted to be taking part in this historic project, which will enhance Israel’s position as an international arena player and inspire youth around the globe. The Drahi Foundation aims to promote innovation and entrepreneurship, alongside science education, to position Israel as an international powerhouse in those fields. The Foundation’s focus in this project will be the invaluable educational aspect. We are proud of this partnership, which is taking place alongside other projects of the Foundation for the establishment of leading academic innovation centers in Israel and globally".

Morris Kahn, Chairman of the Board of Directors of SpaceIL: “The Beresheet project is my life’s mission, so I decided to take it up again. I plan to do everything that is within my power to take Israel back to the Moon, this time for a historic double landing. As an entrepreneur, I believe that one should constantly seek new challenges and even double the risk. Our upcoming new mission will position Israel once more as a global pioneer, this time in space. I am proud to be part of a group of entrepreneurs, philanthropists and visionaries headed by the Drahi family, who have decided to embark on this new journey in the space race of private entities.”

Avi Eyal, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Entrée Capital and representative of the Moshal Space Foundation: “I believe that entrepreneurs and investors who have achieved success in the Startup Nation have an obligation to give back to various groups within Israeli society, to expand the circles of success. As part of our commitment to the future generations and to ensure that Israel continues to flourish and set an example for other countries, we must invest in the technological education of the next generation, pique its curiosity, teach it to think outside the box and believe that the impossible can be attained. We are honored to join and participate in SpaceIL’s project.”

Shimon Sarid, CEO of SpaceIL: “I am grateful to our dear donors, who believe in the power of the “Beresheet 2” extraordinary mission to inspire a whole generation of students and dreamers, for their confidence in the ability of SpaceIL to realize this challenging mission, which will place Israel at the front row of global deep-space technology.”

SpaceIL is a non-profit organization that strives to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, and dreamers through innovative space missions. The organization has hundreds of volunteers and in several years of operation has managed to reach more than two million children. In April 2019, SpaceIL became the first private entity in history to reach the Moon, thereby securing Israel's position as the seventh country to reach the Moon and the fourth country attempted to land on the moon after USA, Russia, and China.