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.
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.
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