SpaceIL, an Israel-based organization whose spacecraft Beresheet crashed into the moon approximately two years ago in a failed landing attempt, has reportedly announced that it has raised over $70 million from investors for a second lunar surface mission, which will launch in 2024.
The funding came from a group of entrepreneur-philanthropists that included Patrick and Lina Drahi Foundation's Patrick Drahi, previous investors Kahn Foundation and Morris Kahn, and the Moshal Space Foundation, in collaboration with Entrée Capital.
According to SpaceIL, the investment enhances the chances of achieving the 2024 launch deadline. The expedition is expected to cost $100 million in total, the startup claimed.
According to the firm, the new mission, labelled “Beresheet2”, will set numerous records in the global field of space exploration, such as a double Moon landing within a single mission by two of the most compact landing crafts launched into the space so far, weighing approximately 120 Kg (265 pounds) each, half of which is fuel.
The first spacecraft, Beresheet, was budgeted at more than $100 million, which was just a fraction of the cost of missions launched to the Moon by superpowers like Russia, China, and the United States. It was a JV between private firms, Israel Aerospace Industries and SpaceIL, backed almost completely by private donations from renowned Jewish philanthropists, such as billionaire Morris Kahn from South Africa, Lynn Schusterman, Miriam, and Sheldon Adelson, and others.
Following the completion of the fundraising round for Beresheet 2, SpaceIL assigned a new board of directors, which included members representing the new donors. Along with Angelina Drahi, Amalia Zarka, Frank Melloul, Tal Granot-Goldstein, and other new directors, Morris Kahn was designated as the board of directors chairman.
SpaceIL is a nonprofit organization established by Yariv Bash, Kfir Damari, and Yonatan Winetraub. The organization strives to inspire the new generation of scientists, engineers, and visionaries with innovative space missions. According to the firm, the group has hundreds of volunteers and has reached more than two million youngsters in its few years of existence.