Although SpaceIL’s shot to the moon of their Beresheet spacecraft on Thursday evening was a letdown, XPRIZE Foundation will award the non-profit organization with a $1 million “Moonshot Award”. XPRIZE is a foundation established in 1995 in California, which creates global competitions to motivate the expansion of technological breakthroughs.
The Moonshot Award was founded last month to reward teams proving the realization of a “moonshot” technological performance outside the limits of time-frame of an XPRIZE competition, featuring the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE which conducted to the founding of SpaceIL.
The team’s ability to design and create a lunar lander for $100 million and with less than 50 engineers most likely won their prize.
Millions of people around the globe watched the live transmission on Thursday of the spacecraft, developed by SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), as it made an ambitious entry into the lunar orbit and attempt to land on the moon’s surface. Israel is the fourth state to accomplish a landing on the moon.
SpaceIL received $1 million Moonshot Award for its Beresheet Moon mission, in spite of failed landing
After an epic seven-week and 6.5 million km journey since Beresheet took off from Cape Canaveral, Florida on a SpaceX rocket on February 22, SpaceIL lost contact with the spaceship moments before it was scheduled to finish the landing.
The cause of the crash was the landing maneuver which launched but failed to land after an issue of technical origin made the main engine to stop, conducting to an altitude loss, and therefore to the inevitable crash. Both SpaceIL and IAI said that, for a better understanding of the crash origin, exhaustive tests will be made next week.
XPRIZE CEO, Anousheh Ansari will present the Moonshot Award to SpaceIL at the annual Visioneering Summit which will take place in October 2019. The foundation hopes that SpaceIL will use the funds to design Beresheet 2.0, or towards their education outreach. Since SpaceIL was co-founded eight years ago by Yehonatan Weintraub, Yariv Bash, and Kfir Damari, their motivation to inspire youths to pursue a career in scientific studies has never changed, therefore it will encourage them to attempt again and again to reach the moon.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.