Israel is scheduled to become the fourth country to land a spacecraft on the moon, with a launch planned for the end of 2017 by billionaire businessman Elon Musk’s SpaceX company.
The launch is set to send satellites from several other countries into space
, but the Israeli spacecraft is the only one designed to continue to the moon. The dishwasher-sized spacecraft was built by the Israeli SpaceIL team for Google’s Lunar XPRIZE competition, which aims to promote space technology and interest in the private sector. Thanks to advanced innovation and engineering, the Israeli team was the first to reserve a spot for a space launch out of 33 teams in the competition.
The “ticket to the moon” cost the Israeli team more than $10 million, a sum reached with funding by the group’s two main benefactors: Morris Kahn’s Kahn Foundation and Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson’s
Adelson Family Foundation.