Leaders of Israeli lunar mission to be honored on Independence Day

While the Genesis mission concluded with a crash landing on the lunar surface, SpaceIL’s chairman vowed to make a second attempt. 

By World Israel News Staff

Just days after the Genesis lunar mission concluded with a crash landing and SpaceIL chairman Morris Kahn announced another privately-funded attempt to reach the moon, Israel’s Culture Minister Miri Regev announced that Kahn and project initiator Kfir Damari will be honored as joint torchbearers at the annual state Independence Day ceremony on Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl in May.

The ceremony marks the transition from Memorial Day for Israel’s fallen and terror victims to Independence Day, which are national holidays observed on consecutive days.

The torch lighting is a major part of the ceremony. Among the other honorees at this year’s event will be the mothers of three teens abducted and murdered by Palestinian terrorists in June 2014.

SpaceIL issued a statement saying that the announcement marks an “exciting day” for their venture.

In choosing Kahn and Damari, Regev was acting on the recommendation of a selection committee. In the announcement, SpaceIL is cited for its promotion of “scientific and technological education in Israel” and encouraging Israeli innovation.

On the heels of the nearly successful space mission, Kahn announced the establishment of Genesis 2.

He pledged to lead the second Israeli spacecraft toward achieving a successful lunar landing.

“This is part of my message to the younger generation: even if you do not succeed, you get up again and try,” said Kahn, adding that he plans to form a new group of donors to support Genesis 2, as well as appointing a new team for the follow-up mission, and will himself lead the project.

He said that the work for the new project would begin immediately.