SpaceIL

The Jewish state is one step closer to a mission to the moon, thanks to a lucrative propulsion deal.

Israel’s SpaceIL group, which has been developing a craft aimed at a lunar trip in 2015, recently picked up the engine that will rocket its vessel into space.

The propulsion system, which was engineered in Israel, cost several million dollars to create. SpaceIL is calling it “among the most critical components of the project.”

SpaceIL is constructing the craft as part of Google’s Lunar X contest, which has pledged $30 million to the first team that can land an unmanned craft on the moon and complete a series of missions.

Through the contest, the Jewish state hopes to become just the fourth nation to successfully land a vessel on the moon.

Some 250 volunteers are working on the SpaceIL project, and it is sponsored by a variety of Israeli businesses, education sites and private investors.

Nations from around the world are currently racing to win the prize, including the US, Russia, China and Japan.

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