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SpaceIL and IAI Press Conference Ahead of Historic Lunar Launch

SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) held a press conference last night in Orlando, 24 hours before a historic lunar launch from Cape Canaveral.

The launch is scheduled for tonight, Feb. 21, at 8:45 p.m. ET.

Speakers (as they appear in the photos, from right to left):

  • Kfir Damari, co-founder of SpaceIL
  • Boaz Levy, Executive Vice President & General Manager, Systems Missiles & Space group, Israel Aerospace Industries
  • Yigal Harel, Head of SpaceIL Spacecraft Program
  • Yonatan Winetraub, co-founder of SpaceIL
  • Sylvan Adams, a SpaceIL donor and Canadian-Israeli businessman and philanthropist

SpaceX will broadcast tonight’s launch live, watch it here.

SpaceIL is a non-profit organization established in 2011 aiming to land the first Israeli spacecraft on the moon. SpaceIL was founded by three young engineers competing for the international Google Lunar XPRIZE challenge to build, launch and land an unmanned lunar spacecraft. SpaceIL’s other stated goal is to inspire the next generation in Israel and around the world to choose to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The launch will take place on a SpaceX rocket in first quarter of 2019, and the Moon landing will be at the end of a two-month journey in space. Since the establishment of SpaceIL, the task of landing an Israeli spacecraft on the moon has become a national project, with educational impact, funded by donors such as Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson, Sami Sagol, Lynn Schusterman, Steven and Nancy Grand, Sylvan Adams and others.

Morris Kahn, a philanthropist and businessman, took the lead in completing the mission, financing about NIS 100 million of the project and serving as SpaceIL’s president.

IAI Ltd. is Israel’s largest aerospace and defense company and a globally recognized technology and innovation leader, specializing in developing and manufacturing advanced, state-of-the-art systems for air, space, sea, land, cyber and homeland security.

Since 1953, the company has provided advanced technology solutions to government and commercial customers worldwide including: satellites, missiles, weapon systems and munitions, unmanned and robotic systems, radars, C4ISR and more. IAI also designs and manufactures business jets and aerostructures, performs overhaul and maintenance on commercial aircraft and converts passenger aircraft to refueling and cargo configurations.


For more information contact: Zach Wallens – – 212.558.9400

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