SpaceIL is an Israeli nonprofit organization working to land the first Israeli spacecraft on the Moon.
The organization was founded in 2011, when three young Israeli engineers undertook upon themselves to enter the international Google Lunar XPRIZE competition. Today, SpaceIL is led by CEO Eran Privman (PhD) together with the three co-founders: Yariv Bash, Kfir Damari and Yonatan Winetraub. SpaceIL has nearly 30 full-time staff and dozens of volunteers. SpaceIL is the only Israeli team in the competition.
SpcaeIL’s vision has far outgrown the race to the Moon. SpaceIL’s goal is to make an educational impact and to inspire a whole new generation in Israel and around the world to take interest in science, technology, engineering, and math: to recreate an “Apollo Effect” in Israel. The team is committed to using the potential prize money to promote science and scientific education in Israel, to ensure that Israel will continue to live up to its reputation for excellence in these fields.
Space and space exploration are the next frontier. SpaceIL’s success will be a source of pride for Israel while introducing the world to new and innovative ways to explore outer space. In addition, the space industry has the potential to become a major growth engine for the Israeli economy.
SpaceIL is using cutting edge Israeli nano and micro satellite technologies to build a small, smart and a relatively cheap spacecraft. The SpaceIL spacecraft is about the size of a dishwasher. SpaceIL is using a Hop concept instead of a Rover, in its Moon mission: In order to conserve mass, SpaceIL developed the idea of a space hop, in which the spacecraft lands on the surface of the Moon and then takes off again with the fuel left in its propulsion system. Then it will perform another landing, 500 meters away, according to the GLXP criteria.
Since announcing its entry into the competition, SpaceIL has received the enthusiastic support of leading Israeli business, academic, and aerospace figures and organizations.
In October 2015, SpaceIL announced in a festive ceremony alongside the Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, that they have signed a confirmed and verified launch agreement to space, on an American SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket for the end of 2017. The Google Lunar XPRIZE directorate confirmed that SpaceIL was the first team to achieve this critical milestone in the competition.
Currently the main electronic components of the SpaceIL spacecraft are assembled at the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) facility, where the spacecraft will undergo rigorous testing to withstand the environmental conditions of space. In the beginning of 2017, the spacecraft structure and its propulsion system will begin integration.
SpaceIL made it to the final round of the competition, as a finalist with a signed launch contract.
Eran Privman, CEO