Team Indus Down to the Wire in Effort to Win Moon Prize

Lunar rover (Credit: TeamIndus)

Team Indus is short of time and money as the March 31 deadline looms for winning the Google Lunar X Prize.

While TeamIndus – consisting of several engineers, specialists and finance experts – has signed a deal with the Indian Space Research Organisation to book the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle for a potential launch, funding issues have even resulted in a few missed payments, sources said.

Rahul Narayan of TeamIndus admitted that a part of the budget is yet to be raised, although he did not directly comment on the missed payments.

“TeamIndus inked its launch services agreement with Antrix (the commercial arm of ISRO) in late 2016. The entire TeamIndus moon mission programme is expected to cost approximately $70 million, of which nearly two-thirds has already been committed. We do not comment on individual cost line items in accordance to our agreements with various partners,” Narayan said.

Sources in TeamIndus told ThePrint that meeting the March deadline may not be possible due to both technical and financial barriers. However, an extension in deadline and significant fund raising could give new life to the initiative.


  • Jacob Samorodin

    Hope they succeed in leaving hardware on the Lunar surface; no amateur/private group has ever done so.

  • Jimmy S. Overly

    I think the GLXP was a step too big, and I think few people would disagree. It had me wondering last week what the appropriate prize should have been. I don’t look to kindly on the Ansari X-Prize, because while it had a winner, it (in my opinion) produced a technological deadend. The NGLLC was a success for multiple reasons. It established reasonable (e.g. attainable) criteria for victory. It had multiple parties compete for the prize (Masten and Armadillo were the most serious, but love me some Unreasonable rocket. Also TrueZero). Masten matured into a business that is still kicking (and in my opinion producing some of the coolest space tech out there). I still hold out hope that Exos née Armadillo will make a full resurgence.

    What should have come after the NGLLC? Definitely not the GLXP.

  • windbourne

    I’m not sure about GLXP will not happen.
    Rocket lab is readying their 2nd launch right now.
    If they are successful, I would not be surprised to see Moon Express shoot for Feb., possibly Jan., Launch.

  • Aerospike

    I doubt it.

    Even if Rocketlab would be ready, I don’t think Moon Express would be. They haven’t shown any real hardware of their current lander design despite being a company that usually takes every chance for publicity.

    We are now a little more than 4 months before the deadline and they haven’t shown final hardware* or even tests of engineering test articles or such things. Do you really think they would keep a close lid on those things if they are almost ready to fly?

    * = maybe their engines are still the same as the ones that had been tested a few years ago.