Science & Technology

Unable To Gather Funds, First Indian Space Start-Up Team Indus Drops Out Of Moon Race

| January 10 , 2018 , 13:33 IST

TeamIndus, the first Indian space start-up that was among the 5 finalists for the global race for the Google Lunar X Prize to land a private rover on the moon had to drop out of the running, reportedly due to lack of funds.

A total of 33 teams from across the world had entered the Google Lunar X Prize contest when it was announced in 2007 for $35 million prize money for the team that could put a rover on the moon that could travel 500 meters and send back high definition videos.

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Despite, TeamIndus winning the $1 million Milestone prize for their landing technology it was unable to mobilise the funds to follow through with the mission, as they planned to build India's first privately funded spacecraft to achieve a soft-landing on the moon, piggybacking on ISRO's PSLV rocket.

According to ISRO sources, while the government space agency was ready to provide the rocket for use by TeamIndus, the start-up unable to meet the contractual requirements and pay the instalments.

Apart from India's TeamIndus, the other Google Lunar X Prize finalists were Israeli non-profit SpaceIL, US firm Moon Express, Synergy Moon, and an international collaboration of space enthusiasts and Japan's space robotics expert HAKUTO.

The XPrize contests were launched with a goal to facilitate big technological advancements in aerospace, medicine, education and other fields by motivating private players with big cash prizes.