In November 2016, Yonatan Winetraub, Co-Founder of SpaceIL, was invited by the MGSDII to come to San Diego to speak to engineering students and faculty at UCSD, SDSU, and USD. He spoke about Israel’s dream to make history by placing an unmanned spacecraft on the moon’s surface! As an added benefit for the community, Winetraub spoke at an MGSDII SALON SERIES event.
During his talks, Winetraub explained how the entire country of Israel, from young school children to top engineers, are following and cheering on the project. The Israeli spacecraft – which has been named Beresheet (beginning) – started with SpaceIL founders Yariv Batash, Yonatan Weintraub and Kfir Damari in 2010.
A digitized time capsule containing Israel’s Declaration of Independence, the traveler’s prayer Tefilat Haderech, the Bible, the Israeli flag, maps of the State of Israel, the national anthem, a photograph of Ilan Ramon (Israel’s pioneer astronaut who died in the fatal explosion of the Columbia Space Shuttle of 2006), and pictures drawn by Israeli children will be on board. Once Beresheet reaches Cape Canaveral, Florida, it will be carried by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. This will make Israel the fourth country after the United States, the USSR, and China to embark on a lunar landing mission.