Posted: Wednesday, January 4, 2017
An experiment that seeks to study photosynthesis on the Moon, another that will explore water recycling in space by using the electrocoagulation effect and filters on urine, yet another that will try to find out if cosmic radiation on the lunar surface can be used to generate electricity. There's even one that will try and brew beer to study yeast formation.
These are just a few of the twenty-five out-of-the-world experiments that are in a race to fly to the Moon aboard the TeamIndus Spacecraft scheduled for launch in 2017 as part of TeamIndus’ Lab2Moon competition, a global challenge for students under 25 to imagine, design and build a project that will accelerate human evolution into a sustainable multi planetary species.
The shortlisted entries come from several countries including India, Peru, Italy, United States, United Kingdom, Spain and Mexico. Rahul Narayan, TeamIndus Fleet Commander, said, “We are absolutely thrilled that as many as 3000 teams from all around the world participated in this race to the Moon. There are so many great ideas; that we will have to send multiple experiments to the Moon! The investigations will definitely catalyse our understanding of viable living options beyond our planet and could ultimately result in better, more sustainable practices back on earth as well.”
The shortlisted teams have each been assigned mentors from TeamIndus, each of whom will work closely with the teams to ensure that the standards needed for space grade experiments are observed and maintained. The experiments have created excitement in the corporate world with a few companies expressing interest to support the teams in their efforts.
“Being shortlisted in Lab2Moon competition is a fantastic opportunity for us to glimpse into the space industry. The possibility of taking our experiment to the moon and making an influence on human evolution is an extremely exciting prospect”, said Sam Brass of LunaDome, a team from the University of Bath, UK.
An eminent international jury comprising Dr. K Kasturirangan, former chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation, Dr. Alain Bensoussan, Former President of Centre National D'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) and Former Chairman of Council, European Space Agency and Dr. Priyamvada Natarajan, Professor in the Departments of Astronomy and Physics at Yale University, will examine the experiments in further detail over the next few months before the teams fly down to Bangalore in March to showcase their final prototype to the jury.
Commenting on his association with Lab2Moon, Dr. Alain Bensoussan said, "The idea to invite youngsters all around the world to propose experiments is outstanding, and the results are beyond belief. Young students love space, as we can see from the success of the initiative, and they come with very ingenious and ambitious proposals. This initiative will draw the attention of all youngsters, even those who have not sent projects."
The winning experiments, that will fly on the TeamIndus spacecraft to the Moon will be announced in March 2017 after an extensive development program, during the course of which TeamIndus will actively participate to help the teams make their projects space-worthy.
Internshala, India’s largest internship platform signed up with TeamIndus as exclusive college outreach partners helping TeamIndus spread the word on Lab2Moon across campuses in India.
Keertivardhan M Joshi of Lunar Leap, a team from Bangalore, India says, “The objectives of this competition is in perfect resonance with our aspirations. Being space enthusiasts, we always had the urge to do something that was totally out of this world. This is going to be a historic mission and the very fact that this will be India's first ever attempt to soft-land on Moon, made it irresistible to us.”
Lab2Moon is shaping up to be the new space race and all the excitement including details of each of the teams and their experiments are available on lab2moon.teamindus.in. Watch this space for more!
TeamIndus is the only Indian team competing for the Google Lunar XPrize. For demonstrating its landing technology, TeamIndus has already won a $1 million milestone prize. There are over 85 engineers and 15 former ISRO scientists who are helping TeamIndus design and develop its proprietary technology from its headquarters in Jakkur, Bangalore.
Google Lunar XPrize
The $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE is an unprecedented competition to challenge and inspire engineers and entrepreneurs from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration. To win the Google Lunar XPRIZE, a privately funded team must successfully place a robot on the moon’s surface that explores at least 500 meters and transmits high-definition video and images back to Earth.
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