Home » South Africa-born billionaire Morris Kahn to donate $70 million to Israel’s SpaceIL project

South Africa-born billionaire Morris Kahn to donate $70 million to Israel’s SpaceIL project

by Ishioma Emi

South Africa-born Israeli billionaire Morris Kahn and philanthropist Martin Moshal will donate $70 million to Israel’s SpaceIL project alongisde French-Israeli billionaire Patrick Drahi.

Kahn is the chairman of SpaceIL. 

SpaceIL is a nonprofit Israeli organization established in 2011. Earlier, the company competed in the Google Lunar X Prize contest to land a spacecraft on the Moon.

SpaceIL stated that the pledges mean it has raised nearly all of the 100 million needed to meet its 2024 target launch. 

SpaceIL plans to embark on a second lunar expedition, Beresheet 2, after it failed to soft-land on the Moon on April 11, 2019, Indian Express reported

During its first lunar expedition, Beresheet or, Genesis Spacecraft, Kahn and other philanthropists donated $95 million to SpaceIL together with the Israel Space Agency. 

Kahn is passionate about taking Israel to the moon.

“The Beresheet project is my life’s mission, so I decided to take it up again,” Khan said. “I plan to do everything that is within my power to take Israel back to the moon this time for a historic double landing.”

Announced on April 13, 2019, Beresheet 2 plans to set new global space records through a double-landing on the Moon and to install the lightest-ever moon landers, each weighing 60 kilograms without fuel.

Kahn is a South Africa-born Israeli billionaire who relocated with his family to Israel in the 1950s. Aside from being the chairman of SpaceIL, he chairs Auric Group, a specialist IT recruitment agency providing job seekers and businesses with advice, job opportunities and up-to-date market news.

Forbes pegs his net worth at $1 billion.

Moshal is a South African philanthropist, who was revealed several years ago to be the secret backer of the Betway gambling platform. The bookmaker was criticized last year amid allegations of grooming gambling addicts through manipulative messages. He also owns the Moshal Foundation, which provides educational scholarships to recipients. He played a critical role in the transition of old-fashioned bookmaking to online gaming.

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