Team Indus – A Journey to the Moon

“Small Aim is Crime…” as Dr. Kalam always used to say. There are few people in the world who follow this principle exactly the same way as Dr. Kalam did. And then they become an inspiration for the generations. Here I am going to talk about such a dreamy guy.

Rahul Narayan a software engineer from Delhi working in some company came to know about a competition. The competition whose 1st price was $20 million. Right! You read it correctly; it’s TWENTY MILLION US DOLLER. As this price is so big we fairly come to know that the competition would also be the hard one.

It was a competition called Google Lunar XPrize!(GLXP) organized by an IT giant Google Inc. Rules are quite simple. Develop a spacecraft of your own and travel to the moon; Land on the Lunar surface; Move there at least 500 meters and Send high definition videos and images captured on Moon’s surface back to the home within given duration. And one more thing, the 90% of the total cost required to perform all this must be privately funded i.e. not supported by any government organization. Ah! Can that be a task for a Competition?

A small sparkle in one’s head can change many things in the world. Rahul takes on the challenge and decided to participate in the competition. He got some likeminded buddies. But the main challenge in front of them is how to start? and from where? Unless we set some vision in front of our eyes there is neither a way nor a guide. This visionary team of people met one of the former Chairmen of ISRO Dr. K. Kasturirangan. Indian Space and Research Organization is one of the most proficient in the world in the field of space exploration and related science. Along with the experience of launching India’s first satellite Aryabhatta to Chandrayan-1 a team of retired personals of ISRO joined hand with the India’s young enthusiasts led by Rahul Narayan.

Team Indus named in 2011 currently headquartered at Bengluru is now become team of more than 100 people including a dozen of retired ISRO scientists. Out of 30 initial candidates for the competition Team Indus made a journey to the last 5 who are going to attempt a journey towards moon. Many Indian businessmen and organizations supported Team Indus to achieve their dream tagged #HarIndianKaMoonshot.

In the workflow for Team Indus mission they are developing a Rover (a small vehicle that will run on Lunar surface) which will observe the moon surface and capture the images and video. The rover is named as ECA(Ek Chotisi Asha). As well as they are developing own spacecraft which will travel to moon and will soft-land on the lunar surface. This spacecraft will carry one more Rover along with ECA from a Japanese co-participant for GLXP HAKUTO. Have you ever heard this? that two participants for the race are travelling from the same car! that’s the beauty. Total mission is over 24 days in all, in which ECA will observe lunar surface and send data through communication controller situated in Lander to Earth. ISRO’s PSLV is contracted by Team Indus to make their journey to the moon. PSLV will lift off from Satish Dhavan Space Center Shriharikota in January 2018 and will inject the spacecraft into an orbit 880 km x 70,000 km above the surface of the earth.

Though they call it a small dream, for a common Indian this is a lot more. I am sure that they will make it successful and along with ISRO Team Indus will give a glory to the name of India in the world in the field of Space science.

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