Billionaire Len Blavatnik Aims For the Moon With $1 Million SpaceIL Grant
The grant is intended to support the Beresheet 2.0. spacecraft program and advance the goal of landing an unmanned Israeli spacecraft on the moon
Billionaire businessman Len Blavatnik has given a $1 million grant to SpaceIL, the Israeli nonprofit organization behind Beresheet, the unmanned spacecraft that crashed on the moon’s surface in April. The Blavatnik Family Foundation made the announcement Wednesday. The grant is intended to advance the goal of landing an unmanned Israeli spacecraft on the moon through the Beresheet 2.0 spacecraft program, according to the foundation’s statement.
Blavatnik’s grant is intended to allow SpaceIL to hire a new CEO, the statement said. SpaceIL has not made any announcements regarding the replacement of its current CEO, Ido Anteby.
In June, SpaceIL said that it regarded its first moon venture a success, as it made Israel the seventh country to reach the moon’s orbit. SpaceIL also said that Beresheet 2.0 will not be going forward with its previously declared second moon mission, but instead will seek out "another, significant objective" for Beresheet 2.0.
Beresheet. Photo: Nitsan Saddan