TEL AVIV, Israel--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SpaceIL, a nonprofit organization aiming to land the first Israeli spacecraft on the Moon and a participant in the prestigious Google Lunar X Prize (GLXP) competition, announced today the receipt of a $16.4 million donation from the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Family Foundation. This grant – coupled with tremendous grassroots support and funding from other key donors such as Morris Kahn and the Schusterman Family Foundation together with ongoing support from the Israel Aerospace Industries, the Israel Space Agency, Bezeq, Tel Aviv University, the Weizmann Institute and many others – gives the SpaceIL team a significant boost ahead in completing construction of their highly innovative spacecraft and moves them closer to the actual launch to the Moon. The funds also support SpaceIL’s core mission to create an Israeli “Apollo Effect,” inspiring the next generation to think differently about science, technology, engineering and math.
SpaceIL is building the world’s smallest spacecraft loaded with groundbreaking innovation in space exploration. The project’s total budget is currently estimated at $36M. The organization aims to show that space exploration is no longer limited to global superpowers with vast space programs, and that any group, small country or university can get involved and contribute to advancing scientific discovery. SpaceIL hopes its technological breakthroughs spur a new wave of commercial space-related industries in Israel.
"Sheldon and I are very excited to be supporting SpaceIL in an effort to land the first Israeli spacecraft on the Moon. As an Israeli-born physician and scientist, I am especially proud of the positive impact the pursuit of this goal will have on the next generation of young Israelis, and frankly all young people, as it serves an important example of the role science and technology continue to play in our everyday lives and across the world," said Dr. Miriam Adelson.
"As an entrepreneur, nothing is as thrilling as supporting a group of people who have been told that their dreams cannot be realized. For a group of scientists and engineers, in one of the world's smallest countries, to be able to reach such an accomplishment is incredible. We are proud to support Israel and SpaceIL prove that dreams do come true and that hard work, vision, and dedication are rewarded. We stand proudly with SpaceIL in this extraordinary endeavor," stated Mr. Sheldon G. Adelson.
Yanki Margalit, Chairman of SpaceIL Public Board, remarked that, “The outpouring of support SpaceIL has received for our race to the Moon has been incredible, from school children to leading academics to visionary philanthropists. Our mission is already succeeding in touching hearts and minds the world over. Now, with the Adelson Family gift, we are closer to realizing our dream. We will be able to significantly expand our impact and create the first blue and white moment of the 21st century. The challenge is huge and our responsibility is clear. Space exploration is the main road to the future”
"The Adelson Family’s generous grant is a huge step forward that will enable the execution of the project. But there remains much work to be done. SpaceIL intends to expand its educational program and invest the needed resources in building the spacecraft. We only get one chance to succeed, so we intend to do all we can to increase our odds", said SpaceIL CEO Eran Privman.
Israel’s Minister of Science, Technology and Space, Yaacov Peri, said, "SpaceIL is an outstanding example of Israeli innovation. The founders and entire team of this bold project are our ambassadors of science, technology and space and are true role models for the next generation.”
SpaceIL is an Israeli nonprofit founded at the end of 2010, when three young engineers with the dream of landing the first Israeli spacecraft on the Moon entered the Google Lunar X Prize (GLPX) competition. In just three years, the organization has scaled into a national movement comprised of nearly twenty full-time staff, over 250 volunteers, and a network of hundreds of renowned academics, business leaders, and industry experts. Aside from landing on the moon, SpaceIL’s collective vision is to create a new Israeli "Apollo Effect," to excite and inspire the next generation about science, technology, engineering and math and help fill country’s urgent need for more scientists and engineers.
For more information: www.spaceil.com