Bangalore-based TeamIndus — the only Indian entrant in an international Google contest for landing a rover on the moon — will start its countdown to the space race worth $30 million in prizes with an anthem to be released tomorrow. For the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition, the Indian aerospace startup will have to successfully place a robot on the moon that will move around for at least 500 metres and send back high-definition videos and images back to earth. The anthem for the Indian team, composed by music director Ram Sampath, seeks to encourage every citizen to take part in the mission in some form or the other, TeamIndus said.
Sona Mohapatra and the band Sanam will sing the anthem #HarIndianKaMoonshot. “The team is working day and night to win the competition,” Sheelika Ravishankar of TeamIndus’s marketing and outreach department told PTI-Bhasha. She said a test would be conducted next month for the robotic launch. The deadline for the $30-million (about 1946 million rupees) Google Lunar XPRIZE challenge, announced in September 2007, is March 2018.
“The contest seeks to inspire engineers, entrepreneurs and innovators from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration,” the Google XPRIZE website said. There are about 120 people involved in the TeamIndus mission of whom 24 are retired ISRO scientists. Five finalist teams — TeamIndus (India), SpaceIL (Israel), Moon Express (USA), Synergy Moon (International) and HAKUTO (Japan) — are in the race, the website said. The grand prize is worth $20 million, and there are two other prizes of $5 million each, it said.