Indian Startup ‘Team Indus’ Wins $1 Million of Google Lunar XPRIZE

Indian Startup ‘Team Indus’ Wins $1 Million of Google Lunar XPRIZE

It has been reported that five teams that were competing for the Google Lunar XPRIZE of $30 million have been jointly awarded $5.25 million for reaching some crucial milestones. The Google Lunar XPRIZE has 26 teams competing from around the world.

The milestones that were met by these teams included developing a robot that can safely land on the surface of the moon, traveling 500 meters over the lunar surface, and sending moon-casts back to the Earth, said sources.

It was also informed that a small team named Team Indus that did not have much experience in robotics or space flight won $1 million of the prize.

The tiny startup team stood on equal platform with other companies that have been supported by billionaire investors. Team Indus received assistance from NASA, and was even supported by some leading universities.

Experts now believe that government for no longer will have monopoly in the space exploration segment. They added that in coming two to three decades they will have entrepreneurs that will provide private spaceflights to the moon.

Things that have changed since the days of the Apollo moon landings is the cost of building technologies that have dropped exponentially. Things that used to cost billions of dollars earlier presently cost millions or sometimes even less, they added.

For example, today people's smartphones have computers that are more powerful than the Cray supercomputers of former times, which had strict export controls and cost tens of millions of dollars. Also, people today carry high- definition cameras in our pockets that are more powerful than those on NASA spacecraft.

The Bangalore-based startup, Team Indus, was founded by former I. T. executive Rahul Narayan and four of his friends. Among his four friends one was an Air Force pilot, second a marketing executive, the third an investment banker and the fourth an aerospace engineer.

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