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Team Indus to launch India’s first event on the moon this December

At the recently held 10th EEMA anniversary in New Delhi, there were deliberations by industry leaders about transforming business marketing to its next level. While there were presentations and panel discussions by media and events experts, the presentation by the aerospace start-up Team Indus was one of the highlights of the occasion.

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Founded in 2011 by IIT-Delhi alumnus Rahul Narayan, Team Indus is part of the Google Lunar XPrize competition to land a privately-funded rover on the Moon by December. It will carry 11 payloads in the spacecraft along with its own rover. The spacecraft and rover are under construction at the government's National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL). The final assembly of the rover and spacecraft will happen at the Team Indus facility in North Bengaluru.

Team Indus will launch its spacecraft aboard the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in late 2017. This dedicated launch will inject the spacecraft into an orbit 880 km x 70,000 km above the surface of the earth. There on, the spacecraft will set course to the Moon using a series of complex orbital manoeuvres.

Speaking about the journey and mission of Team Indus, Narayan said, "We have kept our spacecraft structure ready. The software and the mission command centre is up and running and is undergoing testing. This mission is challenging. ISRO's Chandrayaan 1 was an orbital mission, while our spacecraft has to land on the Moon.”

The aerospace startup has managed to get the support of industrialists and corporate czars that include-- Ratan Tata, Nandan Nilekani, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, and Accel Partners' Subrata Mitra and Shekhar Kirani. So far Team Indus has raised $20 million so far in equity funding and another $20 million in payload partnerships (for carrying third party payloads in the spacecraft).

“As a winner of the Google Lunar XPRIZE Milestone Prize we have shown proof of concept. This is only the beginning. We realise that our approach must be applied to many of the world’s problems. Because at Team Indus, we believe that the further we go the more we inspire change”, added Narayan.

Last year, the team won USD 1 million prize in the Google Lunar XPrize where they presented a viable concept for a moon lander. The team, which believes in the motto ‘Har-Indian-Ka-Moon-Shot’, wants to tell the student community that it is possible for youngsters to contribute to space research.


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