Finalist for the Landing System Milestone Prize & the Imaging Subsystem Milestone Prize!
Google Lunar XPRIZE announces Team Indus as Milestone Prize finalist
— Only Indian team in unprecedented USD30 million aerospace prize –
New Delhi: In what can be seen as a resounding endorsement of India’s rich promise in aerospace engineering and research, Team Indus, an aerospace start-up based out of Bangalore, has been named as one of the shortlisted teams for Milestone Prizes by Google Lunar XPRIZE, which today announced the five international teams selected as finalists for Milestone Prizes, with a total prize purse of US$ 6 million to be awarded this year.
The Google Lunar XPRIZE is an unprecedented competition to challenge and inspire engineers and entrepreneurs from around the world to develop low-cost methods of space exploration. To win the Google Lunar XPRIZE, a privately funded team must successfully land a robotic vehicle on the moon’s surface that explores at least 500 meters and transmits high-definition video and images back to Earth.
Rahul Narayan, Team Lead, says, “Being selected by the Google Lunar XPRIZE as a finalist for the Milestones Prizes is a matter of incredible pride not just for our team and all those who supported our effort, but also for the entrepreneurial spirit embodied by the next generation of innovators, engineers and explorers!”
Indranil Chakraborty, Co-Founder, Team Indus, states, “This remarkable achievement proves that you can stay hungry and stay foolish even in India!”
“We are very happy to have our designs approved in such emphatic fashion by the Google Lunar XPRIZE judging panel. Going forward, we are looking at building our flight hardware, and we welcome scientific payloads to be built around this mission,” he adds.
David Swanson, chair of the Google Lunar XPRIZE judging panel, says. “As there are increasing fiscal constraints threatening the ability of governments to fund exploration, the need to recognize the bold technical achievements of these privately-funded teams is greater than ever.”
The Milestone Prizes were added to recognize the technological achievements and the associated financial hurdles faced by the teams as they vie for the Google Lunar XPRIZE. The three categories of Milestone Prizes are as follows, along with finalists’ names:
- · Landing System Milestone Prize: $1,000,000 per team – based on the hardware and software that enables a soft-landing on the moon
- · Mobility Subsystem Milestone Prize: $500,000 per team – based on the mobility system that allows the craft to move 500 meters after landing
- · Imaging Subsystem Milestone Prize: $250,000 per team – based on producing “Mooncasts”
consisting of high-quality images and video from the lunar surface
After reviewing submissions by several teams, the nine-member independent judging panel selected submissions from Team Indus (India) qualifying to be monitored for the Landing and Imaging Subsystem Milestone Prizes. Team Indus must now accomplish the milestones outlined in their submission through testing and mission simulations under the scrutiny of the judges, in order to win the cash prize.
On Team Indus’s achievement of being shortlisted, Dr. Kasturirangan, Member (Science), Planning Commission said “I have been following the progress of Team Indus for the Google Lunar XPRIZE with great interest and am pleased they have been selected to win 2 of the 3 milestone prizes today. They have already done India proud, I wish they find the support to go all the way to the Moon.”
Acknowledging the significant achievements of Team Indus as the team moves towards the final countdown of this path-breaking global contest, Mr MV Kotwal, Member of the L&T Board & President-Heavy Engineering said “We are really happy that Team Indus has been shortlisted in 2 of the 3 categories of the Milestone Prizes for Google Lunar XPRIZE, a strong validation of their innovative design effort. We at L&T are pleased that our team has been associated in the design validation & review processes over the past 2 years. We wish Team Indus all the best for the next phase of building flight hardware. We saw a spark in the young team to take on this challenging mission and decided to support them in this endeavor as this aligns well with L&T’s ‘Imagineering’ credo and our commitment to innovation and grooming technology leadership skills.”
Team Indus acknowledges the communications systems design and operational support extended by Sasken Communication Technologies, Bangalore.
About Team Indus
Team Indus, an aerospace start-up based out of New Delhi and Bangalore, is on a mission to lead India into the next generation of space exploration and aviation technology. The team is India’s only entry for the US$ 30M Google Lunar XPRIZE. For more information, please visit: www.teamindus.in
About the Google Lunar XPRIZE
The $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE is an unprecedented competition to challenge and inspire engineers and entrepreneurs from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration. To win the Google Lunar XPRIZE, a privately funded team must successfully place a robot on the moon’s surface that explores at least 500 metres and transmits high-definition video and images back to Earth. For more information, please visit: www.googlelunarxprize.org.