An Indian start-up, Team Indus has secured undisclosed amount of funding to compete for Google Lunar XPrize competition to land a robotic spacecraft on the Moon by December next year. Previously, ISRO had also launched Chandrayaan-1 on the moon, then hard landed and crashing itself on the moon. If team Indus will succeeds in its mission, then it would be the first time India would be soft-landing a craft on the Moon.
As per an ET report, the new investors in the start-up include Subrata Mitra & Shekhar Kirani of Accel Partners who have invested at individual capacities, former Yahoo India R&D head Sharad Sharma, chief product manager of UIDAI, Vivek Raghavan, Microsoft’s analytics director Pallaw Sharma, serial entrepreneur Bala Parthasarthy, Sunil Kalra, entrepreneur & investor, Paras Chopra and Pallav Nadhani, both founders of start-ups.
The Lunar Xprize, with prize amount USD 40 million requires that a rover will dismount from the landing craft and travel 500 meters on the lunar surface, and send video, images and data back to the Earth. Founded in 2010, as a venture of IIT-Delhi alumnus Rahul Narayan and four others, positioned as an aerospace start-up with an aim to develop aerospace grade technologies on the global stage. It having 11-50 employees in its current team.
India began its space journey in 1975 with the launch of “Aryabhatta” using a Russian rocket and till date, it has completed over 100 space missions including missions to the Moon and Mars. In October, India successfully launched its third navigation satellite IRNSS 1C on board ISRO’s PSLV C26 rocket, to provide accurate position information service to users in the country as well as the region extending up to 1,500 km from its boundary.
In July last year, India had launched IRNSS 1A satellite while, IRNSS 1B was released in April this year.