Privately Funded Space Team Looking To Brew Beer On Moon In Global Competition
Since humans first landed on the moon, they have been trying to do more than just exploring the lunar surface.
Furthering this dream will be a global competition known as Google's Lunar XPrize. This competition proposes an experiment by brewing beer with yeast on the moon.
This test is to prove the survival of yeast in the space and how it will react in the gravity of the moon. The winning prize is $20 million and currently, four of the best teams are a part of this competition.
Among these four teams, one is TeamIndus from India, which is planning to land on the moon and bag the prize.
Which Teams Made The Cut?
In 2011, at the beginning of the competition, there were 30 teams of which only 4 remain post-elimination. Apart from TeamIndus, the other teams include MoonExpress, which is led by Naveen Jain. The third team is SpaceIL and comprises three Israeli engineers. The fourth team is Synergy Moon. The fifth team from Hakuto, Japan, will be sending a rover on the spacecraft of the Indian team.
In 2012, Narayan started working toward the moon mission and later left his job and shifted to Bangalore to pursue his work. TeamIndus is one of the first privately funded company from a developing country to take part in a global competition such as Google's Lunar XPrize.
TeamIndus needs $70 million for the project, but it has only managed to arrange $16 million. It has taken investments from family, friends, and entrepreneurs. The team plans to arrange money through corporate sponsorship and crowd funding.
The team also has unplanned ideas to develop another satellite program or solar drones after the completion of the global competition.
No Help From The Indian Government?
What is surprising though is that the team will not be getting any support from the government of India.
Jitendra Singh, who is Minister of State in Prime Minister's office, stated that TeamIndus is a privately-owned group and so it will not receive monetary aid from the Indian government. He also clarified that the mission would not be administered by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
However, it still remains to be seen whether the team can manage to get hold of the funding before the final date of the mission and if it will be able to beat the other contenders.
Photo: Chris Lexow | Flickr