In a mega leap to the Indian space program, Bangalore-based space startup, Team Indus is aiming to be India’s first space company to send a rover to the moon and have successfully managed to acquire ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) for the mission.
PSLV is the same launch board ISRO used on its Chandrayaan-1 mission when it sent a satellite that orbited the moon.
The company is actually chasing the coveted Google Lunar XPRIZE, which offers a $20 million cash prize. Team Indus, is the only Indian team in the competition and it is aiming to build the spacecraft by 2017. The challenge is this: land on the moon, get a rover to traverse 500 metres from the landing spot, take pictures and transmit them back to earth. The first group to do this before the end of 2017 will win $20 million.
The company has reportedly made great progress so far. Although it faces stiff competition from global players, including Israel’s SpaceIL which has scheduled its launch for the second half of 2017, the startup is currently rated among the top three company in the race.