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Monday, September 07, 2015

Team Indus - A Parallel Indian Moon Mission

Non-Governmental Indian initiative to reach the Moon.

India, with its long history of State-initiated development of Space technology & exploration, inspires organisations from the country's non-governmental sectors, too, to come up with their own ventures. Their efforts, so far, have resulted in satellites which orbit the Earth.


'Team Indus', which is working on a Moon mission, currently happens to be the only such Indian initiative. This privately-funded enterprise was conceived in response to Google Lunar X Prize, which promises a total prize money of $30 Million USD. As part of the competition, it is designing & building an unmanned explorer, consisting of a lander [HHK1] & a rover [ECA].

Using ISRO's Polar Satellite Lunch Vehicle [PSLV] it would, first, be placed in the Low Earth Orbit [LEO]. From there, it would coast towards the Moon, making use of gravity & on-board propulsion, & finally soft land on its surface. Once on the Moon, competition rules stipulates that it be able to travel at least half a kilometre on the surface, transmitting HD imagery back to Earth captured using its 3MP camera. The start-up intends to raise funds through a combination of equity financing, crowdsourcing & offering space for payload integration. The Google Lunar X Prize recently awarded it a Million Dollars, as prize money, for its simulated demonstration of Lander concept technology.

This slickly produced Government-funded video, below, beautifully highlights Team Indus' efforts towards realising its Moon mission, which it must execute by 2017, in order to be in contention for the Grand Prize. An endeavour, which until now had been the sole preserve of National Governments of the world.

If you hadn't already known, you will, undoubtedly, be interested in knowing about the 12-year old on the team. Also, check out their YouTube page for more details.


Also read: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles [UAV] by Aurora Integrated Systems [Indian Startup]