SpaceIL‘s spacecraft assembly and integration phase officially begun. The Spanish space and satellite engineering firm IberEspacio has delivered the primary structure of the spacecraft the Israeli team is producing in the race to win Google’s Lunar $30 million XPRIZE contest to reach the moon without governmental funding.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is building the actual spacecraft for SpaceIL. The Israeli team is one of five participants in the Google Lunar mission. The other finalists are Moon Express (United States), Hakuto (Japan), TeamIndus (India) and Synergy Moon (an international consortium).
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Israeli SpaceIL Gets Ticket For $30 Million Google Lunar Race XPrize To The Moon
The SpaceIL craft weighs about 25 kg but still must be well-built to withstand the strong shaking from the launch and the landing on the moon.
IberEspacio worked for a year to produce the upper and lower panels, which will contain the propulsion system and all the electronic equipment, as well as the docking ring with the rocket launcher. The carbon fiber struts supplied by a Danish company.
After cleaning the primary structure at high temperatures (“baking”) the team will assemble the vehicle, install the equipment in it, and test the entire system to confirm that everything works to perfection ahead of launch to the moon in 2018.
Dr. Eran Privman, SpaceIL CEO said the spacecraft structure enables the team to start Assembly, Integration, and Testing (AIT) process at IAI facilities.
Opher Doron, IAI’s Space Division General Manager: “IAI, the Space House of Israel, is honored to be part of the SpaceIL team, an educational and technological initiative that represents the best of Israel’s technology. We are proud to take part and support this important project with IAI’s best engineering minds, which combine all the technological and engineering know-how required to build such a complex space craft”
For IberEspacio’s General Manager, Dr. Alejandro Torres, “participating in a pioneering and ambitious mission like SpaceIL by providing a key element like the primary structure is a source of pride for our company. Furthermore, we are contributing in a very special way, ensuring that Spanish technology continues to transcend borders by developing equipment in Spain that will land on the moon. For all this we are very grateful to SpaceIL and IAI for the trust they have placed in us.”
Proceeds from the award – if SpaceIL wins it – will be used to advance science and technology education in Israel.