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.