Through human history, the greatest terrestrial discoveries have been made by brave pioneers. These were individuals with bold ideas who, with the backing of a monarch or state, had the vision and the daring to forge a new path into uncharted waters. Today, the advance of technology has made exploration of the Moon accessible to just these sorts of entrepreneurs.
Team Indus, an Indian privately funded commercial startup is among the top contenders competing against some of the best teams from eight other countries including the US, Japan, Germany, Spain, Italy and Israel for the largest international incentive prize of all time – the Google Lunar X Prize.
The Google Lunar X PRIZE is an inducement prize space competition organized by the X Prize Foundation and sponsored by Google. To win the US$20 million Grand Prize, a privately funded team has to be the first to land a robot on the moon, travel more than 500 meters and stream high definition mooncasts. The competition began with 32 teams, but only 18 remain.
The New Delhi quartered space organisation is founded by Rahul Narayan, an IIT-Delhi alumnus along with four others and has garnered immense support from a myriad of partners. It recently raised 35 Million $ from Indian investors and entrepreneurs.
Team Indus, recently was among the 5 teams to be awarded $1 million for the Lander System Milestone Prize to demonstrate hardware and software that enables a soft-landing on the moon.
It will need the launch vehicle PSLV operated by ISRO, when the project is ready.
The top space scientists are pretty sure and confident about the success of Team Indus.
Its entry into the contest has been catching a lot of eyes in the media and the space world, but it is working to have a future beyond the competition.
If Team Indus successfully completes the mission, it would be India’s first ever soft landing on moon. ISRO’s Chandrayaan-1 though was successfully inserted into the orbit later on but it had crashed on moon’s surface.
All eyes are on Team Indus as the clock winds down on the Lunar X Prize challenge. The success of Team Indus and its competitors will be a bellwether for how well private firms can engineer and execute operations in outer space.
Admirable India community wishes Team Indus all the best for the contest. It’s going to be a fantastic engineering feat. May Team Indus complete the mission and make country proud.
Jai Hind !
Post by – Vivek Swamy