Amid the ever intensifying Google Lunar X Prize race for reaching the Moon, TeamIndus has today signed an agreement with the French Space Agency CNES to carry their payload to the Moon by the end of this year. With regard to the same, the private space company will now carry the new line of state-of-the-art cameras on board ECA. This development was announced by the company on their Facebook page.
The said deal, which was initially announced back in July last year, was signed at the TeamIndus headquarters, graced with the presence of French Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Jean-Marc Ayrault, President of CNES Mr. Jean-Yves Le Gall and H.E. Mr. Alexander Ziegler. The French space agency is delighted to partner with a young innovative space exploration company from India.
Speaking on the same, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall had previously stated:
CNES must look for excellence where it is to be found, for today’s space technology will drive tomorrow’s technology revolutions and growth. In joining forces with TeamIndus on this mission to land a rover on the Moon in 18 months’ time, CNES is showing that innovation in France has a key role to play in NewSpace.
As for the specification of the advanced cameras that’ll accompany the TeamIndus spacecraft, a lunar lander and rover combo. Built using CMOS technology patented by 3DPlus, the French space agency has reduced the size of the micro-camera equipment ‘CASPEX’ by a factor of ten. This reprogrammable and radiation-tolerant micr0-camera will take its first flight with the said spacecraft for their Moon mission.
TeamIndus is gunning for the Google X Lunar Prize, which is aimed at recognizing those explorers who are able to complete their very first private mission to the Moon. It is an international competition and requires one of the 16 selected teams to land a robotic spacecraft on the Moon, move the vehicle up to 500 meters on the lunar surface, and send back high-definition photos and videos to Earth.
This is where TeamIndus is gaining support from the French space agency. The agency is integrating TeamIndus’ rover camera module with their own micro-camera module. The said competition further requires the selected teams to land on the surface of the moon before 31st December. The first team to complete the set of aforementioned activities on the Moon will secure a prize of $20 million, whereas the second team to do the same will bag $5 million. Other special cash prizes will be awarded for performing special feats, like visiting the historic Apollo land site etc.
‘TeamIndus’, have qualified as one of the select few for the race to win the $30 million Google Lunar X prize. They’ve now been given a chance to join a group of global members who’ll be flying self-designed spacecraft’s to the Moon this year. The Bengaluru-based company, Axiom Research Labs, has already bagged a contract with ISRO who’ll see themselves accompany Japan’s HAKUTO team on the PSLV.