The Israeli team aiming to land a spacecraft on the moon in two weeks can now expect more than glory if it works. How about a cool $1 million?
The XPrize Foundation announced Thursday it’s offering the hefty prize for a successful lunar landing.
Israel’s privately financed spacecraft Beresheet — Hebrew for “Genesis” — launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida last month. It’s on track to land on the moon April 11, which would make Israel only the fourth country to successfully pull off a lunar landing.
SpaceIL, the Israeli nonprofit behind Beresheet, made the final cut in the $20 million Google Lunar XPrize competition, which ended last year without a winner. The new award was inspired by SpaceIL’s perseverance.
On Sunday, engineers with SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries released a number of photos from Beresheet’s camera, including a selfie with the Earth from 265,000 kilometers (165,000 miles) above the planet’s surface and a video of the sunrise in space.