India’s first private space company TeamIndus is planning to launch its Lunar probe in 2019. The company started with the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition. It was the one of the final four teams in the race to the Moon. But Google announced that it was pulling out of the competition to land on the Moon, now this has become a non-cash competition.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was the original launch partner of TeamIndus and the Japanese Team Hakuto. Now it is not clear whether ISRO’s platform will be used to launch.
The talks happened between International Business Times, which took the interview with the CEO Rahul Narayan. Narayan said “Over the course of seven years, we have successfully completed qualification tests of our Spacecraft and rover – ECA (Ek Chhoti si Asha). The Google Lunar XPRIZE was the catalyst to get us started on this journey. Our engineering is derived from first principles giving us total control over our Spacecraft and the mission. At this point, we can put together our flight-ready spacecraft in less than six months. We will be ready to launch once the new launch provider is finalised.”
The company is aiming for getting to moon multiple times in the next 5 years. Now being the first Indian company, Narayan is thinking that in the next 10 years it will play a crucial role in the private space business. The company is working towards meeting all the regulatory compliance and fundraising for the project to accelerate.
After the successful launch, the company is aiming for providing affordable, reliable and repeatable solutions since the space industry is very cost and quality oriented. Narayan said, when asked whether they are looking for moon-mining, “Sustainable Space exploration will require ISRU (in situ resource utilisation) at an unprecedented scale. While we are carrying out small experiments to demonstrate this on our first few flights, we at this point are focused on optimising our delivery capabilities. The main focus of TeamIndus is searching for the launch provider and then in 2019 at a time suitable it will be launched.