Google Lunar Xprize Panel Reviews Teamindus Moon Mission Plan

By: DT News Network
October, 12, 2017

TeamIndus, the only Indian team in the Google Lunar XPRIZE, crossed a major milestone in its quest to be the first privately funded entity to land on the Moon, with an international panel of expert judges from the Google Lunar XPRIZE visiting their Bangalore headquarters and reviewing a detailed Mission Plan. The panel and TeamIndus also agreed on the parameters by which the Mission would ultimately be evaluated.

The five-day review by the panel of eminent space scientists and aerospace engineers drawn from some of the finest institutions from around the world, also included demonstrations of the mission hardware – the qualification models of the spacecraft and the moon rover ECA – as well as a simulation of the mooncast. The exercise formed part of the overall review to gauge readiness of TeamIndus Moon Mission as it nears launch.

Professor Alan Wells, the chairman of the panel, Emeritus Professor at the University of Leicester, Founding Director of that University’s Space Research Centre, the recipient of three achievement awards from NASA, two from ESA and the winner of the 2013 Sir Arthur C. Clarke Lifetime Achievement Award for services to space, said “We took a detailed look at the mission plan and the methodologies being employed to gauge the progress of the lunar mission. We have come away from this rigorous exercise impressed by the readiness of TeamIndus. They are clearly on the right trajectory to make history.” 

Chanda Gonzales-Mowrer, Prize Lead for the Google Lunar XPRIZE, added, “I’m delighted to see the spirit of innovation that XPRIZE is meant to spark, find such a strong and disruptive expression in India. One of the original objectives of the Google Lunar XPRIZE is to trigger innovative thinking in space exploration. The work done by TeamIndus is testament to how that objective is being achieved by a small team with a big heart. From being the last team to sign up for the competition back in 2010, TeamIndus have come a really long way in this journey.”  

Rahul Narayan, Fleet Commander, TeamIndus said, “With the completion of this engineering review, it is now all about putting our heads down and not resting until we reach the Moon. We see this engineering review as well as the support from the panel as validation that we are on the right path. We will now be integrating the learnings from the review into fine tuning the Mission in the days ahead.”

TeamIndus has a contract for a launch aboard ISRO’s workhorse launch vehicle PSLV-XL. The Spacecraft will launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, India. The PSLV-XL will inject the Spacecraft into Earth orbit. From there on, the Spacecraft will set course to the Moon by switching on its own engines in a series of complex orbital manoeuvres. The team is targeting to land on the Moon, deploy the TeamIndus rover ECA and beam back high definition media back to earth. TeamIndus had, in early 2015, won $1 million for demonstrating its landing technology.

This mission is christened as #HarIndianKaMoonshot, TeamIndus will soon launch the largest participative platform for every Indian to join an immersive and inclusive space experience.


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