In a unique opportunity, youngsters from across the country are being invited to design an experiment that will fly aboard an Indian spacecraft to the Moon.
The initiative, Lab2Moon was launched here today by TeamIndus, a space technology startup, which is among three top contenders and the only Indian team for the Google Lunar XPRIZE.
The Google Lunar XPRIZE, which is worth 30 million dollars, is an unprecedented challenge intended to inspire engineers and entrepreneurs from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration.
As part of this coveted competition, TeamIndus will have to successfully place a robot on the moon’s surface that will move around for at least 500 metres and send back high-definition video and images back to Earth.
The start up which began as a group of 5 people has grown into a team of 85 over the last 5 years. 15 of the members are retired ISRO scientists.
“We use their expertise and match it with the knowledge and ideas of a young team. That’s how we are going about the project,” Sheelika Ravishankar, peoples lead at TeamIndus said.
The initiative which is going to be the first time a non-government experiment will fly to the moon since 1976, seeks to engage with the people by taking a project created by science enthusiasts proposing an “idea for the sustainability of life on another celestial body.”
“Through the competition, we crowdsource the best idea of building a sustained life on rest of the solar system,” Ravishankar said.
Participants between 14 years and 25 years who are interested for the challenge of imagining, designing and building a project can register on L2M.teamindus.in till August 20.
The ideas can range from investigating how seeds can grow in space through to examining new possibilities in renewable energy.
The experiment is set to fly aboard the TeamIndus spacecraft to the Moon in the year 2017.