02 December 2016 Current Affairs: TeamIndus, a private aerospace starup company is planning to send a spacecraft to the moon aboard an Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) rocket on December 28, 2017. It will be India’s first private moon mission to be launched. It will be launched onboard of ISRO’s workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
TeamIndus moon mission’s aim is to land this spacecraft on the moon. It will also travel at least 500 metres and beam high- definition images, video and data back to the earth. Except for the launch vehicle, all of the technology that will power the lander and rover will be developed in-house by TeamIndus. For launching purpose TeamIndus has signed an agreement Antrix, the commercial arm of ISRO. ISRO’s workhorse PSLV will launch the TeamIndus’s spacecraft in a three-day window centred on December 28, 2017. After completing a rotation around the earth, the spacecraft will land in 21 days at Mare Imbrium, a region in the North-Western hemisphere of the Moon. If the mission goes successful, it would likely pip ISRO’s proposed moon-lander mission — Chandrayaan 2. It launch date is not yet formally announced.
TeamIndus is one of the four international teams and the only one from India that are running for the Google Lunar XPRIZE, a $30 million competition. The competition aims to encourage private companies to launch space missions. Other three international teams include two US based companies, Moon Express and Synergy Moon and one Israeli company SPACE 1 L. So far, all of them have announced agreements with space-launch-vehicle companies such as SpaceX.
TeamIndus : TeamIndus is Bengaluru-based private aerospace company. It is led by Rahul Narayan. It has 100-member team of engineers, space enthusiasts, former Air Force pilots and former ISRO employees. It has high-profile investors, including Ratan Tata of the Tata Group; Binny and Sachin Bansal, co-founders of Flipkart and Nandan Nilekani, co-founder of Infosys Ltd.