In a unique opportunity, youngsters from across India are being invited to design an experiment that will fly aboard an Indian spacecraft to the Moon. – @Siliconeer #Siliconeer #TeamIndus #Lab2Moon #GoogleLunarXPRIZE #SpaceTechnology #L2M

The initiative, Lab2Moon was launched in Bengaluru, June 29, by TeamIndus, a space technology startup, which is among three top contenders and the only Indian team for the Google Lunar XPRIZE.

The Google Lunar XPRIZE, which is worth $30 million, is an unprecedented challenge intended to inspire engineers and entrepreneurs from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration.

As part of this coveted competition, TeamIndus will have to successfully place a robot on the moon’s surface that will move around for at least 500 meters and send back high-definition video and images back to Earth.

The start up which began as a group of 5 people has grown into a team of 85 over the last 5 years. 15 of the members are retired ISRO scientists.

“We use their expertise and match it with the knowledge and ideas of a young team. That’s how we are going about the project,” Sheelika Ravishankar, peoples lead at TeamIndus said.

The initiative, which is going to be the first time a non-government experiment will fly to the moon since 1976, seeks to engage with the people by taking a project created by science enthusiasts proposing an “idea for the sustainability of life on another celestial body.”

“Through the competition, we crowdsource the best idea of building a sustained life on rest of the solar system,” Ravishankar said.

Participants between 14 years and 25 years who are interested for the challenge of imagining, designing and building a project can register on till August 20.

The ideas can range from investigating how seeds can grow in space through to examining new possibilities in renewable energy.

The experiment is set to fly aboard the TeamIndus spacecraft to the Moon in the year 2017.

Teams of up to three members would be required to write a 300 word overview of their project, share drawings and upload a 2-minute video explaining why it should go to the Moon.

20 best ideas will be shortlisted by a jury comprising eminent personalities from the science and technology background, like K. Kasturirangan, former chairman of ISRO. The selected teams will be given a period of 5 months to prepare the prototype, the winner of which is scheduled to be announced in January next year.

TeamIndus’ unmanned mission to moon has dedicated 250 grams of the total payload of the spacecraft for Lab2moon project.

“The project has to be 250 grams and the size of a soda can. It will be part of the payload that will go aboard the spacecraft.

“We have space to take about 20 kg of payload out of which 10 kg is the rover and we have taken out 250 GM for this project,” Ravishankar said.

The team is looking to see if the remaining payload can be sen