Moon mis­sion of ‘Team In­dus’

Vayu Aerospace and Defence - - Aviation Defence & in India -

Team In­dus, the pri­vate Indian ini­tia­tive to land a Rover craft on the Moon, aims to raise $40 mil­lion through a mix of cor­po­rate spon­sor­ship and crowd fund­ing be­fore its sched­uled lu­nar rover mis­sion launch in De­cem­ber. The aero­space startup, which has been fi­nan­cially backed by a host of se­nior personalities in­clud­ing Ratan Tata, Nan­dan Nilekani, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, as also Ac­cel Part­ners’, Subrata Mi­tra and Shekhar Ki­rani, has raised $20 mil­lion so far in eq­uity fund­ing and an­other $20 mil­lion in pay­load part­ner­ships for car­ry­ing third party pay­loads in the space­craft.

Founded in 2011 by IIT-Delhi alum­nus Rahul Narayan, Team In­dus is part of the Google Lu­nar XPrize com­pe­ti­tion to land a pri­vately-funded rover on the Moon by De­cem­ber. It will carry 11 pay­loads in the space­craft along with its own rover. The space­craft and rover are un­der con­struc­tion at the Na­tional Aero­space Lab­o­ra­to­ries (NAL) but the fi­nal assem­bly of the rover and space­craft will hap­pen at the Team In­dus fa­cil­ity in North Ben­galuru.

Team In­dus is sup­ported by com­pa­nies in­clud­ing Tata Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, L&T En­gi­neer­ing and Sasken, as also many cur­rent and for­mer ISRO sci­en­tists. The com­pany sees a huge op­por­tu­nity in beef­ing up its knowl­edge in launch­ing and man­ag­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion satel­lites, given the ex­plo­sive growth in com­mu­ni­ca­tion in In­dia. “We have also built strong re­la­tion­ships with the space agen­cies of France, Ja­pan and the UAE,” Narayan said.

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