SpaceIL, the Israeli nonprofit company that built the Beresheet-1 lunar lander/rover that crashed just before landing in 2019 has now raised $70 million of the $100 million it needs to build Beresheet-2.
SpaceIL said the new pledges means that it has raised almost all of the $100 million it estimates is needed for the mission to meet its 2024 launch target. SpaceIL said the funding would come from South African-Israeli billionaire Morris Kahn, who bankrolled much of the first mission, French-Israeli billionaire Patrick Drahi and South African philanthropist Martin Moshal, co-founder of venture capital firm Entree Capital.
A number of the engineers who helped build the first Beresheet have since moved on, forming their own company as well as getting hired by the American startup rocket company Firefly. Still, there is no reason Beresheet-2 cannot be built and flown, especially if SpaceIL focuses on rebuilding it rather than redesigning something new. They came very close to a success, and probably only need some tweaking to make the next attempt succeed.