Team Indus planning rover craft to moon

Team Indus, comprising a team of entrepreneurs, space enthusiasts and explorers from the City, is on a mission to build a rover (robot) they could launch to the moon, make it walk for about 500 metres and send videos, pictures and data back to earth.

The team, which is working on the prestigious moon mission, as part of Google Lunar X Prize worth of $30 million, is currently busy with the task at the Sasken office in Domlur. It is the only team from Asia competing for the coveted grand prize.

‘Race to the moon,’ as they call it, needs to be completed before December 2015, the deadline for the competition. The team is looking forward to launching their rover on the spacecraft launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) and is expecting its preliminary design review towards October this year. “This is a question of measuring ourselves and what we as a team are capable of,” said Team Indus Programme Manager Sudip Kar.

The team from the US is planning its launch towards October 2015, which means that Team Indus needs to be able to launch their rover before the given date. With the support of Isro and veteran space scientists who are working with them, Team Indus is hopeful of realising its dream.

“We do not want this dream within us. We want more innovative and creative minds at work to come forward and help us realise it. This is why we are being a part of ‘Shaastra,’ the annual tech-fest at IIT Madras which, this year, is based on our theme.

We are inviting students from all over the country to design a lunar rover, which could fetch them a grand prize worth of Rs 5 lakh,” Sudip said, adding “no country has ventured privately to reach any celestial body till date and it is more unique because nobody competes to reach the space.”

“We have been working for almost two years now, and I think it will double our chances of winning if we get the support of people,” said team leader Rahul Narayan.

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