TeamIndus’ Lab2Moon competition gives youngsters the chance to send an experient to the moon aboard its spacecraft
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TeamIndus, the only Indian team competing for the Google Lunar XPrize, has announced a competition that challenges youngsters to design and create an experiment that would be sent to the moon. Called Lab2Moon, the competition is open for those between age 14 and 25, and asks them to imagine, design and build a project. This project needs to be about the size of a can of soft drink, and needs to weigh less than 250gms. Teams can have up to three members, and in order to participate, they need to write a 300-word overview of the project and share drawings. They will also have to upload a 2-minute video in which they explain why their experiment needs to be sent to the moon. Those interested can register here, and the last date for registration is August 20.
Rahul Narayan, TeamIndus Fleet Commander, stated, “The TeamIndus mission is designed to be democratic, inclusive and driven by the people. Lab2Moon reflects that ethos. We hope that a generation of youngsters will be inspired to become change-makers and help create a better tomorrow.”
A jury consisted of scientists and technologists, including the former Chairman of ISRO, Dr. K. Kasturirangan, who will shortlist 20 teams by August 25. These teams will then have to develop a working prototype of their project by the end of 2016. The shortlisted teams will then be flown to Bengaluru in January 2017, where they will showcase their project to a jury. The winner will be declared on January 26. TeamIndus is planning to launch its spacecraft to the Moon next year. It also states that this will be the first opportunity for a non-government experiment to fly to the moon, since 1976.
The Google Lunar XPrize is a $30 million competition that challenges engineers and entrepreneurs to develop low-cost techniques for robotic space exploration. To win the prize, a privately funded team needs to successfully place a robot on the surface of the moon. Further, the robot needs to travel at least 50 metres and transmit high-definition video and images back to earth. As mentioned before, TeamIndus is the only team from India competing for the price, and has already won $1 million for demonstrating its landing technology.
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