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February 13, 2013 12:41 am

Israeli Nonprofit Seeks to Land Israeli Spacecraft on Moon

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The moon. Photo: Gregory H. Revera.

SpaceIL, an Israeli non-profit comprised of a team of scientists and space enthusiasts, is aiming to make Israel the third country, behind the U.S. and Russia, to successfully land a spacecraft on the moon.

As part of Google’s Lunar X Prize competition, SpaceIL intends for its spacecraft to be as small as possible, harnessing the latest in nanotechnology. It also recently received a significant boost when the Israeli telecommunications company, Bezeq, announced that it would provide an advanced communications infrastructure needed for spaceflight, Israel Hayom reported.

Team SpaceIL believes the organization can play an important role in raising awareness of space technology in Israel.

“Team SpaceIL views its participation in this competition as a national mission, one that will help develop its space industry and promote scientific awareness among the country’s youth,” says Yariv Bash, team leader, on SpaceIL’s profile on the Google Lunar X Prize website.

Team SpaceIL’s mission has generated significant enthusiasm within Israel’s robust academic, scientific and high-tech industry. They have received support from the Israeli Space Agency, Israeli Aerospace Industry, Asher Space Research Institute at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Ramon Foundation, Israeli Nano-Satellite Association, and many others.

In order to win Google’s $30 million Lunar X Prize, a private team must successfully land a robot on the surface of the moon and send images back by the end of 2015. There are currently 25 teams from around the world competing.

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