Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Jewish Business News


Mapping the Lunar: WeSpace’s Mission to Unravel Moon’s Mysteries

WeSpace, led by Yigal Harel and Yifat Feffer, is a pioneering lunar exploration with innovative drone technology and evolving moon mapping.

It happened in the blink of an eye when the main engine stopped in May 2019, causing Beresheet (Genesis), the first Israeli spacecraft to the Moon, to fall and crash to the ground. All the scenarios considered for the mission’s possible failure did not consider such an event.

This was when Yigal Harel’s, director of the Genesis project, heart skipped a beat. Like him, the hearts of many Israelis and millions worldwide follow the tiny spaceship failed.

Beresheet also had many significant achievements. And that way, it will remain in memory and documentation. Following the landing attempt, the project was shut down, and the entire Genesis engineering team was fired and found themselves dreaming of the Moon from the balcony at home.

Please help us out :
Will you offer us a hand? Every gift, regardless of size, fuels our future.
Your critical contribution enables us to maintain our independence from shareholders or wealthy owners, allowing us to keep up reporting without bias. It means we can continue to make Jewish Business News available to everyone.
You can support us for as little as $1 via PayPal at
Thank you.

“We worked so hard on Genesis,” explains Yigal Harel.

“When we took off to the moon, we saw the huge ‘wahoo’ that this little spaceship made. We felt a crazy peak. But then came the layoffs. Quite quickly, we decided to return to the Moon, but this time to establish a company, raise money, and develop a product that does not yet exist.” Describes Yifat Feffer, Yigal’s life partner.

A few months after the layoffs in 2019, they founded WeSpace Technologies. Yifat Feffer, an attorney by profession and an entrepreneur, was appointed CEO, Yigal Harel, CTO, and leaders from Beresheet and IAI’s Arrow-3 challenging projects joined the team as partners.

Then came the corona, and delays came with it. Only in 2022 were they able to present the first model WeSpace has developed

Areas of the Moon’s south pole with possible deposits of water ice, shown in blue. The map is based on data taken by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Credit: NASA

“After massive research we made, one of the first conclusions was that there is a lot of missing information about the moon,” Feffer explains, “even though the surface of the Moon is about a quarter of the surface of the Earth, only 5% of the Moon has been explored and mapped practically to discover precious minerals and water, while 95% is still a mystery. After all, more than 50 years have passed since man landed on the Moon.”

Initially, they thought of developing a rover to travel on the lunar soil and collect information. Their research concluded that this mission requires more than rovers with the existing technologies.

Global innovation: autonomous pilot and speed

Instead of struggling to navigate obstacles, WeSpace’s solution is to hop and fly over them. They named their first-of-its-kind hopper-drone – HopLa.

“The main challenge of developing a drone for the moon lies in the fact that the moon has no atmosphere, so there is no air in it to serve as a lifting force for the wings, the kind that helps drones and planes to take off and fly on the surface of the earth,” explains Harel.

This new “Land & Fly” method takes advantage of the Moon’s low gravity, allowing them to execute powered or ballistic flight arcs. This enables them to explore rough terrain and can scout significantly larger areas and will greatly enhance the mapping capabilities of the Moon.

HOPLA lunar exploration. WeSpace Technologies
HopLa lunar exploration/ WeSpace Technologies

“The advantage of the drone is clear,” explains Yigal Harel, “The typical travel speed of a rover is about 0.1 meters per second, while the drone flies at a speed of 30 meters per second, so its level of coverage is much greater to  understand where to land, mine resources, and settle the base.”

For example, The Ingenuity helicopter, the first to fly on Mars, has a maximum range of about 1.2 miles (2 kilometers). It can only effectively monitor a small area at a time. The limitations of ground vehicles have implications for the design and planning of future planetary missions. For example, missions requiring long-range travel or wide-area monitoring may need other vehicles, such as aerial vehicles or satellites.

Now they are developing autonomous pilot software to control drones under challenging areas without communication with the Earth, such as lava channels and deep craters. “This is the innovation we are bringing to the market,” Harel emphasizes.

His good fortune

It may be that the luck of Yigal Harel, 57, an aeronautical engineer and father of three children, improved precisely because of his life partner, Yifat Feffer, 53, an attorney specializing in taxation and contracts and mother of four children.

This image of the moon is from NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper on the Indian Space Research Organization’s Chandrayaan-1 mission. It is a three-color composite of reflected near-infrared radiation from the sun.

In 2002 Feffer co-founded Joy Art Gallery, a successful company for the production of sculptures using laser cutting and printing. The artists whose names are associated with the factory are, among others, David Gerstein, whose works are known to every Israeli, Dan Shamir, Marina Zlochin, Yuval Mahler, and Alla Pikovsky. These days, the factory, previously a supplier of the Israel Museum, is carrying out an innovative project with Charles Fazzino, the most popular 3D artist in the world today and the pop art artist whose works appear in the highest number of collections.

Since they met through a dating app in 2018, Yifat and Yigal have become two halves of one whole. She is dynamic and energetic, talks about the Genesis project in the plural “we worked, we hoped,” and intervenes in her partner’s words while correcting, adding, clarifying, and sharpening. Harel respects her and leaves the whole stage to her. After all, she is the CEO.

 “The truth is that at the beginning, I was under stress. I didn’t know how to prepare a business model that would be correct for the lunar economy,” Feffer says candidly. “but I found out that the Moon economy is made on Earth between people on Earth and companies on Earth. Still, the delivery of the product is on the Moon.”

L-R WeSpace CEO Yifat Feffer and CTO Yigal Harel / credit Joy art gallery

– Who are the private individuals investing in the space-moon venture?

Feffer, “A venture like this is built for angels who understand the vision. Special people whose world view is not a template. Those who are considered “exceptional.” To date, we have raised pre-seed. “Soon enough, the business investors will follow too and join, for the new Lunar economy is huge,” she adds.

“Now we are looking to raise seed for $1.5 million. The state will match in the amount of one million dollars. With this money, we will finish the Autopilot algorithm and have the brain of the drone’s autonomous pilot, which will fly without human control.”

What do you say to investors?

Feffer: “The Moon’s soil contains high concentrations of precious metals such as magnesium, aluminum, and titanium. There are rare elements that are important for the development of medicines and technology. 

In October 2020, NASA announced for the first time, against all odds, the discovery of ice and liquid water on the Moon’s surface. 

“To reach and mine these land treasures, you must create a map indicating where to dig to get them,” Feffer says. “In the long term, we hope to be the “Google Moon,” which will be equivalent to “Google Earth.” WeSpace business model is to sell this valuable information to private companies and government organizations.

Artist’s rendering of water ice in a permanently shadowed region on the moon. (Image credit: Hongyu Cui)

What stage of the project are you at?

Feffer: “We are working with the Israeli Space Agency and expect that at the end of 2023, the state will announce WeSpace’s HopLa drone as Israel’s national contribution to NASA’s Artemis project.” Feffer explains.

Artemis project is the next landing of four astronauts on the Moon and later a human landing on Mars.

Meantime, WeSpace is working with NASA to define the missions they will perform on the Moon.  “We want to go back to the moon, and we will do that,” concludes Feffer as a reminder of the importance of space exploration. The Moon is a valuable resource, and we must continue to explore it.



You May Also Like

World News

In the 15th Nov 2015 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:   ·         A new Israeli treatment brings hope to relapsed leukemia...


The Movie The Professional is what made Natalie Portman a Lolita.


After two decades without a rating system in Israel, at the end of 2012 an international tender for hotel rating was published.  Invited to place bids...

VC, Investments

You may not become a millionaire, but there is a lot to learn from George Soros.