The Genesis Prize Foundation announced it will provide a $1 million grant to support Beresheet 0.2, the second Israeli spacecraft to attempt a moon landing, the organization said Thursday.
The lunar landing for Beresheet (the Hebrew word for “Genesis”, did not go as planned. The spacecraft developed by Israeli non-profit SpaceIL crashed into the moon’s surface on April 11, dashing Israel’s hopes of becoming the fourth country in the world (after Russia, China, and the US) to complete a moon landing.
Just two days after the crash landing, SpaceIL said it would develop a new spacecraft to attempt a second landing, estimating it would take two to three years to complete. Earlier this month, Israel’s Ministry of Science and Technology announced it would allocate NIS 20 million ($5.5 million) to SpaceIL to construct the unmanned spacecraft.
SpaceIL was privately funded by philanthropists, including its president, Israel-South African entrepreneur Morris Khan, but received some government funding including $2 million from the Ministry of Science and Technology. The whole project cost an estimated $100 million.
On Israeli Independence Day, May 9, Kahn, a partner of the Genesis Prize Foundation, announced the $1 million grant from the Genesis Prize Foundation in honor of 71st anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel.
Launched in 2013, The Genesis Prize is an international award created to applaud Jewish achievement and contribution to humanity. The Prize is funded through a permanent endowment of $100 million by The Genesis Prize Foundation.
“This grant deviates from our traditional philanthropy, which focuses on one initiative each year in partnership with our laureates. But in its essence, support of Beresheet 2 is exactly why we established our foundation: to inspire the Jewish people, to strengthen the bond between Israel and the Diaspora, and to instill a sense of pride in Israel’s achievements,” Genesis Prize Foundation co-founder and chairman Stan Polovets said, “We are pleased to be the first foundation to announce support of Beresheet 2 and invite other philanthropists to join us in supporting this important project.”