Team Indus, managed by Axiom Research Labs, an aerospace startup based in Bengaluru is one of five Google Lunar Xprize winners this year. The team has been awarded $1 million in recognition of key technological advancements toward their quest to land a private spacecraft on the surface of the moon.
Team Indus won the Milestone Prize in the landing category, after competing in the landing and imaging categories. The constructed a prototype of the lander’s structure, and performed vibration and drop testing.
“The $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE is asking teams to accomplish a feat that has never been achieved—the safe landing of a private craft on the lunar surface that travels at least 500 meters and transmits high-definition video and imagery back to Earth,” said Robert K. Weiss, vice chairman and president, XPRIZE in a press statement.
he Milestone prize winners were determined by a judging panel of science, aeronautics and space industry experts that evaluated numerous tests over the past year. The Milestone Prizes award hardware and software innovations needed to overcome technical risks in the three crucial areas — Imaging, Mobility and Landing systems—all of which are necessary to complete a successful Google Lunar XPRIZE mission.
The 9 awarded Milestone Prizes are as follows:
Astrobotic (US): Imaging ($250,000), Mobility ($500,000), Landing ($1M)
Hakuto (Japan): Mobility ($500,000)
Moon Express (US): Imaging ($250,000), Landing ($1M)
Part-Time Scientists (Germany): Imaging ($250,000), Mobility ($500,000)
Team Indus (India): Landing ($1M)