SpaceIL is a non-profit organization, working to land an Israeli spacecraft on the moon and make Israel the third country (after the United States and the Soviet Union) to do so.
The organization was founded by three young Israeli engineers, who undertook upon themselves the challenge of the international competition, Google Lunar X-Prize: a global race for landing an unmanned spacecraft on the moon.
The team represents Israel at the competition, against 23 other privately-funded space teams from around the world. The prize to be awarded to the winners in the first place is 20 million $. Total overall prizes in the competition are 30 million $. SpaceIL is committed to contribute the potential prize money for promoting science and scientific education in Israel.
In accordance with the competition rules, the team must make a soft landing, operate the spacecraft across the lunar surface to a 500 meters distance and transmit HD video, images, and data back to Earth. SpaceIL chose to build the spacecraft as a mini – satellite. The target date planned for launch is 2015.
SpaceIL is based primarily on the work of over 200 volunteers, and is supported by a wide range of partners and supporters, such as Israeli Aerospace Industries, academia and business associations.
We are driven by a national mission, to advance Israel’s scientific and technological fields and push it into new frontiers. Before about 30 years ago, in 1969, the American spaceship landed “Apollo 11″ on the moon and fired up the imagination of many young people. SpaceIL’s goal is to create a similar effect: to inspire a whole new generation of scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians – who are the building blocks of the Israeli “Start-Up Nation”.