Innovation in Space Exploration
Leveraging Israeli expertise in micro-satellite technologies, SpaceIL is building a small, smart and a relatively cheap spacecraft. The team is applying know-how garnered from a defense related necessity (satellites) to a new purpose of space exploration. The SpaceIL spacecraft is about the size of a dishwasher.
The Hop instead of a Rover
While the other Google Lunar XPRIZE teams developed large rovers to move the required 500 meters on the Moon’s surface, in order to conserve mass, SpaceIL developed the concept of a space hop: to have the spacecraft land and then take off again with the fuel left in its propulsion system, and then perform another landing 500 meters away.
While the other Google Lunar X Prize teams developed large rovers to move the required 500 meters on the Moon’s surface, in order to conserve mass, SpaceIL developed the idea of a space hop: to have the spacecraft land and then take off again with the fuel left in its propulsion system, and then perform another landing 500 meters away.
Efficiency and Multi functionality
For extra efficiency, SpaceIL believes in multifunctional use of every single part of the spacecraft. For example, the propulsion system will be used both for landing and for performing the 500 meter hop.
Breaking New Scientific Ground
Along with our partners at the Weizmann Institute of Science, SpaceIL is aiming to break new scientific ground by taking first-of-their-kind measurements on the surface of the Moon. Technological advances allow them to end a forty year draught of in-situ scientific exploration of the Moon, pushing the frontiers of lunar geophysics. Read More
SpaceIL is developing new algorithms, approaches, and designs that will likely have far-reaching impact in future economic and scientific development.
Making Space Exploration Accessible
Until now, only global superpowers with billion dollar space programs have landed on the Moon. SpaceIL intends to show the world that this same accomplishment can be achieved for a relatively tiny budget, and that any private group, small country, or university can get involved in space exploration.
- Testing the spacecraft’s navigation sensor in a rocket experiment conducted in 2011
- Completing several preliminary design reviews over the last three years, to finalize the spacecraft’s design
- In December 2013, SpaceIL purchased the largest and most significant part of the spacecraft: the propulsion system (the engine and the fuel tanks), which comprises 80% of the spacecraft’s mass. This is a huge milestone on the way to the Moon.
- August 2014: completing a Preliminary Design Review (PDR) for the spacecraft’s antennas. Read More
- August 2015: Purchased components and subsystems which its development is complete, start arriving at the integration laboratory, like peaces of a puzzle: IMU navigation sensor, Star Tracker etc. Read More
- October 2015: Signing a launch contract via SpaceFlight, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 launcher, intended for the end of 2017. A festive signing ceremony was held at President Rivlin’s residence in Jerusalem. Read More
- November 2015: Completion of the transceiver development. Read more