An Indian start-up company is getting ready to land its rover to moon in January 2018. Bangalore based company, Team Indus, on Thursday announced that it has secured a ride with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to send its rover to the moon.
Team Indus is one of the 16 teams that are in the race for the Google Lunar Xprize challenge wherein the first team to successfully land a rover on the Moon, make it travel for 500 metres and send back HD videos and images of Earth will win $20 million.
It is also the only Indian company in the race.
Even though Team Indus was a late entrant to the competition, the company claims to have made significant progress in the mission and has become the fourth team to win a contract for a commercial launch with ISRO.
This is also the first time a private Indian company has been granted a dedicated launch vehicle for a space mission by ISRO.
What is Google Lunar Xprize Challenge?
Also known as Moon 2.0, the competition is funded by Google and organized by Xprize. It involves global spaceflight teams to become the first to land a private rover on the Moon, travel 500 meters and send back HD images and videos.
Last year, Xprize extended the deadline for the competition to December 2017 if at least one of the participating teams could bag a verified launch contract by end of December 2015.
Who is Team Indus?
Team Indus is a for-profit organization, and the only Indian company in the competition. It was founded by IIT-Delhi alumnus Rahul Narayan, Indranil Chakraborty and Julius Amrit.
Currently, it has over 100 staff including retired ISRO scientists and several aeronautic engineers.
Even though the company joined the competition three years after the Lunar Xprize was announced, it was one of the three teams to win $1 million milestone award for the successful pilot test of lunar lander technology.