Yariv Bash has two big missions in life: making Israel’s 2024 Beresheet II moon landing a success as a board member of SpaceIL, and doing drone deliveries to America’s back yards. All 82 million of them.
He’s well on his way with the moon mission. In 2019, as co-founder and team leader of SpaceIL, a Tel Aviv nonprofit chasing the $20 million Google Lunar XPRIZE, he helped lead Israel’s first mission to the moon. Working with Israel Space Technologies, SpaceIL developed the Beresheet (Genesis) robotic moon lander. The goal: Make a soft landing on the moon, move the lander 500 meters, then transmit moon casts and a data uplink to win the prize. Beresheet did make it to the moon—but was destroyed in a hard landing. Now, as a board member of SpaceIL, Bash is involved in the mission of Beresheet II, aiming to make a successful landing in 2024 or 2025.
Meanwhile, back on planet earth…
Bash has some deliveries to do. Tel Aviv-based Flytrex has made drone deliveries in Reykjavík, Iceland, for the last four years, but its biggest footprint to date is in North Carolina. Starting in 2018, Flytrex began making restaurant food deliveries in suburban North Carolina neighborhoods, in collaboration with the FAA’s UAS Integration Pilot Program and the state’s department of transportation.
That service has since expanded to three North Carolina cities—Fayetteville, Raeford and Holly Springs—and widened beyond restaurant meals to include Walmart and Target grocery deliveries.
“We’ve been step by step, very slowly growing over there,” Bash told Dallas Innovates. “They already have three stations working on a daily basis, servicing more than a few thousand families in all three locations, making deliveries from dozens of retailers and restaurants. We continue to expand the different variety that we can offer from extra restaurants and more retailers.”
In December, Flytrex was awarded formal FAA approval for drone deliveries with a range of up to one nautical mile in North Carolina, expanding its reach there to 10,000 households.