The Google Lunar XPRIZE (GLXP) is an inducement prize space competition organized by the X Prize Foundation, and sponsored by Google. The challenge calls for privately-funded spaceflight teams to compete to successfully launch arobotic spacecraft that can land and travel across the surface of the Moon while sending back to Earth specified images and other data.
The $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE is an unprecedented competition to challenge and inspire engineers and entrepreneurs from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration. To win the Google Lunar XPRIZE, a privately funded team must successfully place a robot on the moon's surface that explores at least 500 meters and transmits high-definition video and images back to Earth.
To win the grand prize ($20 million), private teams (with no more than 10% in government funding) must:
1. Land a robot safely on the Moon.
2. Move 500 meters on, above, or below the Moon's surface.
3. Send back HDTV Mooncasts for everyone to enjoy and this must all be completed before the December 31st, 2015 deadline! There are other prizes, too, for missions like surviving the lunar night and visiting an Apollo site.
Five international teams selected as finalists for Milestone Prizes, with a total purse of $6 million to be awarded this year. After reviewing 33 total submissions, the nine member independent judging panel selected 11 submissions from the following teams: Astrobotic (US), Moon Express (US), Hakuto (Japan), Part-Time-Scientists (Germany), and Team Indus (India).
The Milestone Prizes were added to recognize the technological achievements and the associated financial hurdles faced by the teams as they vie for the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE, a global competition to land a robotic spacecraft on the moon by December 31, 2015.
The three categories of Milestone Prizes are as follows, along with which teams are competing:
1. Landing System Milestone Prize: $1,000,000 per team - based on the hardware and software that enables a soft-landing on the moon (Astrobotic, Moon Express, Team Indus)
2. Mobility Subsystem Milestone Prize: $500,000 per team – based on the mobility system that allows the craft to move 500 meters after landing (Astrobotic, Moon Express, Hakuto, Part-Time-Scientists)
3. Imaging Subsystem Milestone Prize: $250,000 per team – based on producing “Mooncasts” consisting of high-quality images and video on the lunar surface (Astrobotic, Moon Express, Part-Time-Scientists, Team Indus).
In order to compete for the Milestone Prizes, teams had to submit documentation to the judging panel, defining the key technical risks they face and how they intend to retire them. Selected teams must now accomplish the milestones outlined in their submissions through testing and mission simulations under the scrutiny of the judges, in order to win the prizes. Teams have until September 2014 to complete the prize requirements and the winners will be announced on an ongoing basis throughout 2014.
Team Indus is a for-profit organisation headquartered in New Delhi, India. The team is led by Rahul Narayan, a Delhi based IT professional. Team Indus has been selected to compete for two of the Milestone Prizes: the Landing Prize and the Imaging Prize. Team Indus is a non-conformist, unconventional alliance of dreamers and explorers who will not stop short of asking for the moon.
Team Indus is India's only entry for the Google Lunar XPRIZE.
1. Rahul Narayan
2. Team Indus (30-member team of men and women).