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As mentioned in this question the total budget of the Lunar X-prize was about US \$30 million, and that included some other prizes beside the winner. However the budget of Beresheet post-X-prize candidacy rose to about US \$95 million.

I'm guessing that the X-prize candidate mission's budget was targeted to roughly the size of the prize (though I could be wrong). Since then, what additional capabilities or factors have contributed to the final size of the budget? Is it just that the US $95 million is more realistic, or does the new mission include new thing, or are there other factors?

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  • $\begingroup$ you're not going to get many people investing 95 million to win a 30 million prize, from memory the budget assigned to launch was 8 million, but they paid around 3 times that $\endgroup$ – JCRM Mar 25 at 0:18
  • $\begingroup$ @JCRM thus the question as asked. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Mar 25 at 0:27
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    $\begingroup$ my comment was suggesting it was just a more realistic figure. I think the interplanetary podcast touched on it in the last six weeks. $\endgroup$ – JCRM Mar 25 at 0:29
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    $\begingroup$ Re I'm guessing that the X-prize candidate mission's budget was targeted to roughly the size of the prize (though I could be wrong). You are most likely wrong. I suspect that none of the serious X prize candidates expected that winning the prize would result in a profit, that instead development and initial operating costs would be much higher than US $30 million. Profits would instead eventually come from much cheaper repeat performances. $\endgroup$ – David Hammen Mar 25 at 0:57
  • $\begingroup$ The original budget was around $30 million @DavidHammen forward.com/news/israel/175464/… (but still more than the $20 million prize) $\endgroup$ – JCRM Apr 15 at 17:01
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Is post-X-prize Beresheet better than the X-prize candidate?

No. The post-X-prize Beresheet has the same mission as the X-prize candidate. Furthermore, "cost" is a poor proxy for "better" in terms of spaceflight.

The Beresheet lander's primary mission is to inspire the next generation to learn Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. It has done so tremendously. I often give talks at my daughters' schools, and the quality of questions has gone up dramatically in the past two years, not to mention the general interest of the children. Even in age brackets outside my childrens' range, kids are asking more questions and generally being more interested than I ever remember. This goes for Israeli Jewish children, Arab children, and even new immigrant children. Landing failure notwithstanding, the Beresheet mission has met it's ambitious objective like few other missions have.

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  • $\begingroup$ Cost may not be a proxy for mission scope, but budget (the word I used) sure has a strong bearing on it. Anyway thanks for your answer. Yes the one (several) of the primary objectives have certainly been met. I will hold out for an answer that addresses the more tangible aspects, like did they add any additional capability or complexity. I shouldn't have used the colloquial term "better" as a proxy for capability or complexity ;-) $\endgroup$ – uhoh Apr 14 at 11:51
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh: During the years, the scientific payload was very seldom discussed. It might be the case that during the X-prize phase there was no scientific payload, I think that I've personally only heard of the magnometer and laser retroreflector only in the last year or two. I'll try to contact some of the team, and if I can get any concrete info from them directly then I'll update this post. $\endgroup$ – dotancohen Apr 14 at 11:57
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    $\begingroup$ It has been a week and I have not yet heard back from SpaceIL. $\endgroup$ – dotancohen Apr 22 at 6:34
  • $\begingroup$ It's probably not a good time... After the build-up to the big event, people may take time off to catch up on personal life. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Apr 22 at 6:51
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    $\begingroup$ Right, and Israel is in holiday now so I'll probably try again in a few weeks. If I get any information, I'll post back. $\endgroup$ – dotancohen Apr 22 at 9:01

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