Here's all you need to know about India's first for-profit, aerospace research team looking to send an unmanned spacecraft to the Moon.
Team Indus, India's first for-profit, aerospace research team is busy gathering funds for its Moon mission. In need of nearly USD 35 million, the team is also looking at crowdfunding as an option, according to a report by the Hindu BusinessLine.
The project is estimated to cost around USD 65-70 million and Team Indus has so far managed to raise half that amount.
The report cited Sheelika Ravishankar, Marketing and Outreach of Teacurrm Indus as saying the crowd funding platform will be launched in the next few weeks, inviting people to contribute towards the ‘Moon Mission’.
What is Team Indus?
Team Indus is a for-profit organisation which is into aerospace research. The team's objective is to develop an unmanned spacecraft which can be flown to Moon, a Lander which will land on the lunar surface and a rover which will mobile on the lunar surface.
It is the only Indian team and is among the five finalists competing to win the Google Lunar X Prize launched in 2007.
In January 2015, the team successfully tested the craft and was awarded USD 1 million by Google for reaching the milestone.
The Lander named HHK-1 is designed to carry a payload of about 25 kg. The rover has been named ECA for "Ek Choti si Asha (a small dream)".
The rover is required to travel a distance of at least 500 metres on Moon's surface upon landing. The craft also required to capture and send feedback to Earth in form of high definition (HD) video and images. The mission life is expected to cover a distance of 3.8 lakh kilometre in the 24-day project.
The Lander will also carry the Lunar Ultraviolet Cosmic Imager (LUCI) developed by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA). LUCI is an all-spherical mirrors telescope aimed to scan the sky in near-UV wavelengths.
What is the Google Lunar X Prize?
The Google Lunar X Prize will be awarded to just one team which will design and land a spacecraft on Moon, first.
The mission which is often referred to as "Moon 2.0" initially had attracted 30 teams from 17 countries. The competition deadline is March 31, 2018. The winning team will get USD 20 million.Team Indus and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) have tied up to launch the spacecraft on a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket by January 26, 2018, ahead of the deadline in March.