Jewish philanthropists Sheldon Adelson and Miriam Adelson just donated $16.4 million to the Israeli lunar mission SpaceIL. But that isn't stopping the start-up from engaging in grassroots-style fundraising.
SpaceIL, which is currently working to land the first Israeli spacecraft on the moon as part of the international Google Lunar XPrize competition at the end of 2015, has launched (pun intended) a new crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo.
SpaceIL is working toward landing the "smallest, smartest lunar spacecraft ever," and will also have a float in the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York's annual Celebrate Israel Parade on June 1.
With the new campaign, SpaceIL is seeking to raise $240,000—$1 for each mile from the Earth to the Moon.
"We're excited to harness the power of the Indiegogo platform to raise awareness and build involvement with SpaceIL. We have great momentum and a lot of inspiration to share and hope as many people as possible will come aboard and join our mission to the Moon," SpaceIL CEO Eran Privman said in a statement.
Founded at the end of 2010 by three young engineers with the dream of landing the first Israeli spacecraft on the Moon, the Israeli start-up grew to nearly 20 staff members and more than 200 volunteers. In addition to entering the Google Lunar XPrize competition, SpaceIL wants to create a new Israeli "Apollo Effect," that would generate excitement about science and technology among members of the next generation in Israel.