TeamIndus is India’s only team competing in the Google Lunar XPRIZE (GLXP); a global competition which required privately funded teams to build and land a spacecraft on the Moon. Rahul Narayan, the founder of TeamIndus, signed up for the GLXP in 2010. Having no experience in aerospace before they started off, the team was a little skeptical at first. But, being the only Indian team to participate motivated the entire team to stick together and register for GLXP on the very last day, December 31st, 2010. Rahul says, “From a team which had absolutely no background in aerospace when we started off, we now comprise nearly 85 engineers and about 12 retired ISRO scientists.”
From a team which had absolutely no background in aerospace when we started off, we now comprise nearly 85 engineers and about 12 retired ISRO scientists.”
Jumping over the hurdles
TeamIndus is building a four-legged spacecraft that contains a number of components that were designed and built in-house to cut costs. However, Rahul says that they knew that there were a lot of challenges in store that had to be overcome. He says, “Given that there isn’t too much publicly available information on performing a moon landing, the initial constraint was getting the right information and chalking the way forward. We’ve pretty much had to figure it out ourselves.” The biggest and most obvious challenge for Rahul was the fact that they haven’t built a Spacecraft before and had to patiently learn the process from scratch.
Our biggest challenge, also our biggest motivation, is that we’ve never built a Spacecraft before and was forced to learn everything from scratch.”
Using his shortcomings as fuel
Rahul uses his shortcomings as fuel and motivation to drive his project forward and says, “Our biggest challenge, also our biggest motivation, is that we’ve never built a Spacecraft before and was forced to learn everything from scratch.” He found a way to make things work though, as a mission of such a soaring magnitude attracts some of the most passionate and committed individuals who have been an integral part of many Indian space missions. Some individuals who are retired ISRO scientists are also a part of Rahul’s team today. The passionate team that he has relishes every challenge that they face and finds unique ways to solve them, making TeamIndus a threatening team to their competitors.
The future is now
Apart from the GLXP, TeamIndus is also looking to involve themselves in future missions based on their current Spacecraft architecture. Making space accessible is a big challenge, but Rahul aspires to drive innovation, pave the way for more players in the industry, explore space, and colonize the moon. The inspirational personality has made the nation proud and is a motivation to aspiring individuals all over the world. His advice to aspiring individuals is to simply keep moving in the direction that you have foreseen for yourself in the inevitable, adverse moments that life will throw at you. Keep your faith in these moments and do not take your eye off the prize.