A grand prize of $20 million is at stake at Google Lunar Xprize for the team that will successfully land and control a robot on the moon. The robot must be privately developed and funded, and capable of travelling a distance of more than 500 meters (1,640 feet).
No team has yet to win the prize despite the interest that many have shown since the competition was announced in 2007.
An Indian startup, however, has stepped up to make their dreams into a reality, and many believe that this group of innovative entrepreneurs has the potential to win the entire contest.
Who is Team Indus?
Team Indus is recognised as the first and only Indian team in Google Lunar Xprize. They have 12 technical advisers, 11 direct partners, and more than 100 total participants on board. Their supporters are hopeful that they will be the first ever lunar-based representatives of Asia.
Rahul Narayan is the fleet commander and tech lead. The other primary participants of Team Indus are Sheelika Ravishankar, Dilip Chabria, and Nirmal Suraj.
Raising the necessary funds
The process of raising enough capital to launch a robot to the moon is not to be taken lightly. While the winning team will enjoy a substantial cash prize, these funds won’t be available until the team reaches the moon. Participating teams must come up with their own funding to start their projects.
Fortunately, Team Indus won an award in 2015 for completing the concept of their lunar vehicle. They received $1 million as cash prize along with other awardees.
A bevy of possible experiments
The Indian startup’s primary goal, as well as that of Google’s Lunar Xprize in general, is to land and operate a robotic vehicle on the moon. But the team is making preparations to carry out other experiments once they finally reaches their destination in outer space.