$1 Million Prize Awaits Israeli Team if Moon Landing Works

Opher Doron, general manager of Israel Aerospace Industries' space division, speaks beside the SpaceIL lunar module, in a special "clean room" where the space craft is being developed, during a press tour of their facility near Tel Aviv, Israel, Tuesday, July 10, 2018. SpaceIL and the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries …
AP/Ilan Ben Zion

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — An 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 a $1 million award for a successful lunar landing.

Israel’s privately financed spacecraft Beresheet — Hebrew for “In the Beginning” — 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.

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