SpaceIL the nonprofit Israeli initiative whose spacecraft crashed on the moon two years ago said Sunday that it has secured $70 million in funding to make a second attempt at a lunar landing.
SpaceIL said the new pledges means that it has raised almost all of the 100 million it estimates is needed for the mission to meet its 2024 launch target. SpaceIL said the funding would come from South African Israeli billionaire Morris Kahn, who bankrolled much of the first mission, French Israeli billionaire Patrick Drahi and South African philanthropist Martin Moshal, cofounder of venture capital firm Entree Capital.
The first “Beresheet” or “Genesis spacecraft” built by SpaceIL and state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, crashed into the moon moments before touchdown in April 2019, falling short in its attempt to become the first privately funded lunar landing.
According to the Davidson Institute, a branch of the…