Can Israel Go to the Moon?

February 2, 2011

By Guy Grimland

Will Israel soon be able to plant its flag on the moon?

Three young scientists hope to succeed in their own private version of the Apollo program.

The Google Lunar X PRIZE is a $30 million competition for the first privately funded team to send a robot to the moon, travel 500 meters and transmit video, images and data back to the Earth. Photo: Google Lunar X Prize.


If Yariv Bash, Kfir Damari and Yonatan Winetraub succeed and send a robot to the moon, they’ll donate their millions in prize money to promote science among Israel youth. Yesterday the trio announced their participation in the Google Lunar X Prize competition – an effort to send an unmanned vehicle to the moon and beam back high-quality photos and short films.

The Israeli group’s official declaration was issued at a space conference held by Tel Aviv University’s Yuval Ne’eman workshop for science and technology. The group goes by the name SpaceIL and is registered in Israel as a nonprofit organization. It’s the only Israeli team in the competition.

The three young men are not motivated by money; they view the competition as a national mission to develop Israel’s ability to explore space.

Read full article here.

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