Team Indus Aiming To Land Spacecraft On Moon On Republic Day 2018
Team Indus, an Indian startup, is aiming to make big waves in the world of space travel and exploration. The team is aiming to get a new spacecraft developed and then launched onto the moon. This is with the goal of reaching the surface of the moon before Republic Day 2018, which would be on January 26, 2018.
The team features more than a hundred people who have been working on developing a satellite or other craft for space exploration. Many former scientists and engineers associated with ISRO are involved in the project.
Ratan Tata has offered support to Team Indus in the past. This includes support to help with getting aircraft to develop and to extend an outreach for the program. This especially comes as Team Indus does not have too much funding on hand and has been working with private entities to get the funds it needs to keep its projects running properly.
The Goals of the Spacecraft
Team Indus is hoping to create a spacecraft that will do the following:
- The spacecraft will first reach the moon’s orbit and then land on its surface. The design of the spacecraft will feature a traditional setup with a series of strong legs to keep it on the moon’s surface and to handle its lighter gravity. This would be similar to what has been used in other spacecraft from different countries.
- A small rover would be included on the spacecraft. It will get onto the moon’s surface and travel for at least 500 meters. It would come with its own sensors and camera to review what is on the surface.
- The camera will then send back images and videos of what it finds. It has not been specified as to whether these will be either color images or black and white shots.
A Big Choice
Team Indus is the only startup in India to have gotten a $1 million Google Lunar X Prize for generating a simulated craft that could actually land on the moon. The testing showed that the craft Team Indus has developed can actually support the moon’s atmosphere. This in turn made it easier for the team to develop the spacecraft that it wants to launch.
The Google Lunar X Prize will be even higher to whoever is able to get their spacecraft landed onto the moon first. The prize will be worth $20 million. This is especially substantial for the development of Team Indus but there will be some strong competition involved with the prize.
Working With Others
Team Indus is not the only organization aiming to get on the moon very soon. Team Indus is one of only five of the sixteen teams from around the world that competed for the Google Lunar X Prize. The other four teams come from different parts of the world. These include the Moon Express group from the United States, SpaceIL from Israel, Hakuto from Japan and Synergy Moon, a collaboration of fifteen different countries.
The goal of Team Indus’ project is to look around and check on many conditions relating to the moon and how living conditions might work around the planet. Other organizations that have won the Google Lunar XPrize have plans relating to how commercial activities might occur on the moon and how to review natural phenomena on the moon. In the case of SpaceIL, the country of Israel is hoping to make real waves in the hopes of furthering that country’s space exploration program.
About the Launch
The launch for the new spacecraft will take place on December 28, 2017. This is to get it to reach the moon on Republic Day 2018. This is based on the approximate time it would take for the spacecraft to reach the moon.
The launch will work with the support of ISRO as a PSLV-XL will help with launching the craft into space. The launch will occur in Sriharikota at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre. This is to provide a better angle and open space for the launch to take place in.
Growth in the Space Program
The development of the spacecraft is another sign of the ongoing growth of the space exploration program in India. This is a point that has been noticed through the launch more than eighty satellites off of a single rocket. The development of new craft to help launch items into space has been influential to getting the market to keep growing in size.
The overall effort of the Team Indus project will be to help India become the next country to reach the moon’s surface. The planning for the project has gone well so it will be up to the final project to see how well it works and if India can make its mark in the world of space exploration.