TeamIndus, the only team from India that was participating Google Lunar Xprize competition, cancelled its launch contract with ISRO.
While there have been several media reports speculating what went wrong and what the way ahead could be, TeamIndus has put out a blogpost outlining its journey till date and its way forward.
“The Google Lunar XPRIZE was the catalyst to get us started on this journey. It has sparked space as a sunrise industry in many countries, and we believe its impact will last way beyond the competition itself,” it said in the post.
Speaking of where it currently stands, TeamIndus says it had successfully completed qualification tests of its spacecraft and rover ECA.
It will continue its partnership with Team HAKUTO of iSpace Japan and is working on synergies and will work closely with them over the next year or so, as both companies look to commercialize space beyond the Earth orbit.
The GLXP may not be happening, but TeamIndus is still working towards launching its moon mission. “At this point we can put together the flight model of the spacecraft in under six months ready to go once we have our updated launch date,” it said.
As part of completing its spacecraft qualification — the step before flight model integration — TeamIndus says it has completed Critical Design Review (CDR) stage for all sub-systems.
Its Spacecraft mechanical systems have been optimized to the point where the structural mass is less than 9% of the total lift-off mass. The flight and auxiliary computer, control algorithms have been put through Monte Carlo analysis several 100,000 times giving it a greater than 85% confidence of soft landing at the desired location within a 100 meter accuracy.
In terms of fund raising, having raised a little more than 50% of the total $60 million, it looking at commercially viable means of raising the rest of the financing needed, including expanding its payload delivery capacity and international funding.
And for the money that it raised through crowdfunding from over 9000 people, TeamIndus has initiated a full refund.
TeamIndus will continue to work closely with global partners, customers and the wider science community.
It says that given the knowledge base, capabilities it has created, it will use that to mount multiple missions over the next five years and to demonstrate the capability, the repeatability, precision and the ability to send back amazing science data beyond the Earth-orbit.
“We believe, given how far we have come in the past 7 years, TeamIndus has the right kind of head-start to lead the global narrative on exploration of space beyond Earth-orbit. The Moon is still on. And so is a future beyond our first Moon mission,” it said.