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How Israel's Moon Lander Got to Launchpad

The United States and the former Soviet Union sent robot fields to the moon that began in 1966, part of the space race culminating with the astronauts Apollo 11, who stepped on the moon in 1969. In 2013, China became the third nation to send a spacecraft to the moon, and this year became the first to land one on the moon's long side.

Back in November 2010, there was a rush for the SpaceIL founders just to get to the starting line. The Google competition was announced three years earlier. About 30 teams had already entered, and the deadline for submissions was the end of the year. From friends and family, Mr. Bash, Damari and Mr. Winetraub $ 50,000 for the entry fee, and December 31

, they sent money and paperwork with less than two hours to save.

Initially, their pitch was adapted to philanthropists, not venture capitalists.

"It's a very different story than a commercial company trying to explain how to return investors from investors," says Bash. "It's one of the best decisions we made at the beginning."

One of the people who heard their presentation was Morris Kahn, an Israeli telecommunications billionaire billionaire. "I gave them $ 100,000, no questions," Kahn said, "and I said," Start. ""

Herr. Kahn initially said he just wanted to help. "Eventually I didn't just suck in, I sucked in," he said. "I was excited by this project."

Mr. Kahn became president of SpaceIL and recruited other investors, including Sheldon Adelson, a Las Vegas casino billionaire and great donor to the Republican party in the United States.

As an ideal, SpaceIL also invested the volunteers' energy. "If you were interested in space and wanted to do something beyond your daily job, you can volunteer and give yourself some of your time," said Winetraub .

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