Logo image

OUR STORY

TeamIndus began with the idea of going back to the basics in the face of any complex challenge. By this philosophy, our limit is farther beyond the skies. We’re aiming for the stars.

2007
SEPTEMBER 2007

THE NEW SPACE RACE

In 2010, the Google Lunar XPrize was announced. As the largest incentivised competition in history, it seeked to challenge entrepreneurs worldwide to develop low-cost methods of space exploration.

article image
2010
DECEMBER 2010

A LAST-MINUTE ENTRY

A small group of friends registered as the only Indian team competing for the Google Lunar Xprize on finding that India had no other representative. None of them had the first clue about a space mission. They saw a problem and they wanted to solve it.

article image
2012
MAY 2012

ENTER THE FIRST EMPLOYEE

Nirmal Gadde, fresh out of IIT Kharagpur, joined the team. He helped the team visualise and detail out the mechanics of the spacecraft. TeamIndus had gotten onboard their first member with technical knowledge in aerospace.

article image
2012
NOVEMBER 2012

AN IN-HOUSE ROBOTIC ROVER

ECA or Ek Choti si Asha was created as version 0.8. This model was designed with the Ackerman steering concept and a deployable masthead.

article image
2013
MARCH 2013

A MEETING THAT INSPIRED THE DREAM

TeamIndus met former ISRO Chairman and Rajya Sabha member, Dr. K Kasturirangan to discuss the mission. The sit-down that was to end in a matter of minutes lasted for nearly two hours. This was the first validation that such a mission would be possible from India.

article image
2013
APRIL 2013

SHIFTING BASE SOUTHWARD

Rahul Narayan and the first few members of the team moved from Noida to the hub of the aerospace ecosystem in India—Bangalore. The team began working from National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL).

article image
2013
JULY 2013

FIRST REVIEW WITH DR. K KASTURIRANGAN

The propulsion system designed for the spacecraft’s descent on the moon was reviewed by Dr. Kasturirangan and team. It was his suggestion to initiate conversation with Antrix Corporation about the trajectory profile.

article image
2013
NOVEMBER 2013

THE SHAPE OF A SPACECRAFT

The first version of the spacecraft was designed. It had a 3-engine configuration, its propulsion and fuel systems borrowing from ISRO. This design was set to weigh 850 kg of which 40 kg would be payload.

article image
2014
AUGUST 2014

EXPOSING DESIGNS FOR FEEDBACK

The Preliminary Design Review or PDR was done by a panel of ISRO experts, where the entirety of the team’s work on its systems was prodded, questioned and ripped apart by the scientists. This was also when the team realised they will need ISRO’s expertise.

article image
2014
SEPTEMBER 2014

SPACECRAFT V2.0

The second generation of the spacecraft was built within just 90 days in the L&T facility in Coimbatore, after much logistical coordination for the materials. This version moved away from the original fuel and arrangement of thrusters.

article image
2014
DECEMBER 2014

TESTING TIMES

An international jury of five rocket scientists witnessed testing of the TeamIndus spacecraft for landing and imaging at ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC), NAL, Centum Electronics and United Labs. ISRO had demanded INR 48 lakhs in advance for using its testing facility, which the team arranged for in three frantic hours after phone calls to existing investors. It was a close shave.

article image
2015
JANUARY 2015

THE MILESTONE PRIZE

All the last-minute scramble and the breath-holding paid off and how. TeamIndus won the terrestrial milestone prize for landing—a prize of $1 million. It was a great moral boost for the team.

article image
2015
OCTOBER 2015

OUR VERY OWN HQ

TeamIndus moved to a custom-made HQ in Jakkur, complete with a design facility and a mission control centre.

article image
2015
DECEMBER 2015

WHEN SAGES JOINED THE MIX

As time wore on, it became clear that the mission needed expert guidance in a more hands-on fashion. Retd. ISRO scientists, who had only consulted for TeamIndus so far, joined them full-time.

article image
2016
??? 2016

ECA’S FIFTH EVOLUTION

ECA 5.0 was a design where thermal, structural and operational aspects were optimised. Her cameras were also stepped up, including a single-point hold-down mechanism with the lander.

article image
2016
DECEMBER 2016

AN IN-DEPTH EVALUATION

The Detailed Design Review or DDR was a lengthy four-day process by experts from the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST), the Indian Institute of Science(IISc), ISRO and NAL. This review yielded a go-ahead to start construction of the latest structure of the spacecraft and plenty of feedback on the software for the entire mission.

article image
2016
DECEMBER 2016

THE HISTORIC LAUNCH CONTRACT

TeamIndus signed a first-of-its-kind launch contract with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)—the first instance of a public-private collaboration for space exploration in India. This was the start of #HarIndiankaMoonshot. The Moon mission had become truly Indian.

article image
2016
DECEMBER 2016

COLLABORATING WITH HAKUTO

TeamIndus and Hakuto entered an agreement to take Hakuto’s rover Sorato aboard the spacecraft. It would be a 500 m dash on the lunar surface between the two teams.

article image
2017
JANUARY 2017

THE FINAL CUT

The race was neck-and-neck. Only five of the thirty qualified teams were short-listed to continue on their journey to the Moon.

article image
2017
JULY 2017

PREPARING FOR THE LAST LAP

The third generation of the spacecraft, the qualification model, is being integrated now. This version, wider, shorter and lighter than before, will be soon be on its way to the Moon.

article image
2018
JANUARY 2018

THE FIRST INDIAN MOON LANDING

ECA is set to land on Mare Imbrium and beam high definition media back to us, marking the first instance of the Indian flag on the Moon. This will be the big moment that we have all worked for, for 8 years. ECA will have taken every Indian’s moonshot.

article image
×