Thursday, April 10, 2014

SpaceIL - Perhaps The Most Important Project Coming From Israel

Israel is highly respected for a wide variety of creative and humane activities.
From providing defense and security to those who live in democratic Israel to providing humanitarian assistance - food, medicine and technology - to many around the world.

But now a dream is quickly turning into a hardfast reality.
To place a spacecraft from Israel on the moon.
Israel, referred to as a "light onto the nations" is now taking one small, important step toward providing a scientific, medical and humanitarian break though which embraces the global community.

The achievements will be unlimited.
As the imaginations of those who created SpaceIL.

Reaching out.
Exploring space.
Bringing Earth together as one global village.

Israel space project gets $16 million boost from casino mogul Adelson

(Reuters) - SpaceIL, a nonprofit organization aiming to land the first Israeli spacecraft on the moon, said on Wednesday it has received a $16.4 million grant from the foundation of U.S. casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.

With a budget estimated at $36 million, the Israeli scientists and engineers building the shuttle - temporarily named "Sparrow" - believe it will land on the moon by the end of 2015, a feat only the United States, Russia and China have managed so far.

SpaceIL, which is backed mainly by philanthropists, was founded to compete for Google's LunarX Prize, unveiled in 2007. The $20 million prize will go to the first team to land a spacecraft on the moon, make it jump 500 meters and transmit images and video back to earth.

Thirty-three teams started out in the running and they are now down to 18, including competitors from the United States, Italy, Japan, Germany, Brazil, Canada, India and Chile.
SpaceIL said it aims to show that space exploration is no longer limited to global superpowers with vast space programmes. It also hopes its technological breakthroughs spur a new wave of commercial space-related industries in Israel.

"As an entrepreneur, nothing is as thrilling as supporting a group of people who have been told that their dreams cannot be realized," Adelson said.

Posted by Joel Leyden
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