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Moon mission: Team Indus to raise USD 40 mn; rover, spacecraft flight testing in August at ISRO facility

In 2011, IIT-Delhi Alumnus Rahul Narayan Founded Team Indus, Which Is All Set To Carry Its Rover Along With 11 Payloads In The Spacecraft. Government's National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) Is Currently Preparing The Spacecraft And The Rover, While The Final Assembly Will Be Done At The Team Indus Facility In North Bengaluru.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Bindiya Bhatt | Updated on: 06 Jul 2017, 04:18:15 PM
Moon mission: Team Indus plans USD 40 million fund raise


Team Indus, the Indian space startup which is part of the Google Lunar XPrize competition to land a rover on the Moon, is planning to raise USD 40 million. The Team Indus looks to raise the fund through a mix of corporate sponsorship and crowdfunding before its scheduled lunar rover mission launch, scheduled for December. 

A host of bigwigs including Ratan Tata, Nandan Nilekani, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, and Accel Partners' Subrata Mitra and Shekhar Kirani have backed Team Indus, which has so far raised USD 20 million in equity funding and another USD 20 million in payload partnerships (for carrying third party payloads in the spacecraft). 

In 2011, IIT-Delhi alumnus Rahul Narayan founded Team Indus, which is all set to carry its rover along with 11 payloads in the spacecraft. Government's National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) is currently preparing the spacecraft and the rover, while the final assembly will be done at the Team Indus facility in North Bengaluru.

"Our spacecraft structure is ready. The software and the mission command centre is up and running and is undergoing testing. This mission is challenging. ISRO's Chandrayaan 1 was an orbital mission, while our spacecraft has to land on the Moon," said Narayan. 

However, the company could take some liberties given the fact that the mission is short and landing-focussed, he noted. The flight testing of the spacecraft and payloads will take place in August at ISRO’s facility.

130 people are involved in Team Indus, which aims at emerging as a key private satellite building and space management company.

"By 2020, ISRO is set to employ a private launch vehicle. Not much is spoken about the organisation's effort to encourage private players. We see ourselves augmenting ISRO's capacities, not capabilities," Narayan said.

Given the explosive growth in communication in India, Team Indus sees a big opportunity in boosting up its knowledge in launching and managing communication satellites.

"We have also built strong relationships with the space agencies of France, Japan and UAE," Narayan said.

ALSO READ | Indian start-up Team Indus secures a ride with ISRO, expected to land its rover on moon in 2018

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First Published : 06 Jul 2017, 01:18:00 PM