We have already been proud of TeamIndus for being the only team from India in the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition. Now they have surprised us with one more achievement. This time by signing an commercial agreement with Team HAKUTO to carry robotic rover to the Moon.
So, aboard a TeamIndus spacecraft the Hakutp Rover will embark on its journey to the moon in late 2017. These two private space enterprises competing in the Google Lunar XPRIZE - TeamIndus of India and HAKUTO of Japan have taken a historic step by coming together for this initiative.
There is no doubt about the technical soundness of these companies. They have very well demonstrated their technology by winning Milestone Prizes from Google Lunar XPRIZE in 2015. While, TeamIndus won $1million for demonstrating its landing technology, HAKUTO won the $500,000 Mobility Prize for the robotic rover it developed.
This is not all, the TeamIndus spacecraft, in addition to the Japanese Rover, will also be carrying the indigenously designed and developed robotic rover, ECA. “We are delighted to welcome HAKUTO on board our Spacecraft and look forward to working with them over the next few months. After our PSLV launch contract announcement, this is a reaffirmation of our technology preparedness as we continue to build towards becoming the first private entity to land on the Moon,” said Rahul Narayan, TeamIndus Fleet Commander.
The Spacecraft will be launched aboard the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), which will inject the Spacecraft into an orbit 800 km above the surface of the earth. After that, the Spacecraft will set course to the Moon by switching on its own engines in a series of complex orbital manoeuvres.
After hitting a maximum speed of 10.3 km per second en route to the Moon, the spacecraft will fire its rocket engines again, this time to decelerate and land softly on the lunar surface as the dawn breaks on Mare Imbrium, a vast lava plain and among the larger craters in our solar system. The rovers would then be deployed on the surface of the Moon.
Sridhar Ramasubban, TeamIndus Jedi Master – International Sales added, “This collaboration is a testimony of the fruitful Indo-Japanese relationships. Startups are leading the resurgence of space technology demonstration and development globally, and this partnership sets an example for greater things to come in the future.” Well, amen to that!