India’s Google Lunar X-Prize competitor still short of funds


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With only a few months left to fly its mission, Google Lunar X-Prize finalist TeamIndus is still about $23 million short in the funds it needs to finish and fly its lunar rover.

Rahul Narayan of TeamIndus admitted that a part of the budget is yet to be raised, although he did not directly comment on the missed payments. “TeamIndus inked its launch services agreement with Antrix (the commercial arm of ISRO) in late 2016. The entire TeamIndus moon mission programme is expected to cost approximately $70 million, of which nearly two-thirds has already been committed. We do not comment on individual cost line items in accordance to our agreements with various partners,” Narayan said.

This would mean that the team still requires over $23 million in funds to meet its target. The company also has limited time left to complete its developmental work for the moon rover.

There are five finalists left, and it appears that three have launch issues that might prevent them from flying by the March 31 2018 deadline. If TeamIndus does not get the funds to fly it will also prevent the Japanese team from flying since they are sharing the same rocket. Moon Express meanwhile needs an operational Electron rocket, which still has not flown a successful orbital mission.

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