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Bengaluru firm eyes to land first private spacecraft on moon

Bengaluru

New Delhi: The Bengaluru-based Team Indus will become the first private firm in the world to land a spacecraft on the moon, as per sources.

The company is now just a step away from building the flight model that will be flown onboard a PSLV from Sriharikota spaceport.

The company is one of the five finalists in the Google Lunar X Prize competition that seeks teams to successfully land a 90% private-funded spacecraft on the moon, travel 500m on its surface and transmit images and videos back to earth. Other teams include two from the US and one each from Israel and Japan.

Guided by two dozen retired Isro scientists, a team of more than 100 have designed and developed the 600kg spacecraft and a 6kg rover.

Besides carrying their own rover ECA or Ek Chhoti si Asha (a small hope), the spacecraft will also carry a rover built by the competing Japanese team — a student-built cube sat that will orbit the earth for 90 days and instruments that will conduct eight student-built experiments. The craft will also carry cameras for the French space agency CNES, sources said.

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