aerospace startup Team Indus, as a part of the Google Lunar X-Prize, has decided to involve every Indian in their moon mission. As a part of their crowdfunding initiative, the startup has announced that it will offer Indians the opportunity to leave their names on the moon, for a price of INR 500 ($7 approx). Team Indus will take the names of their public donors and micro-engrave them on a small-sized aluminium object, which will then be placed on the lunar surface when their lander descends on the moon. The launch of the mission is planned for December 28 this year on ISRO’s PSLV rocket, that will undertake a journey of 3.84 lakh kilometers from Earth to make a soft-landing on the moon on January 26, 2018, an achievement made by only three countries so far. The aim of the mission is to successfully land the rover on the moon, get it to travel at least 500 meters on the lunar surface and transmit high-definition video and images back to the earth. The mission will lay the path for ISRO’s Chandrayan-2 mission. The startup has designed an AI-operated rover called ‘Indie’ – that is soon going to pave its way to the moon. The rover was developed as a part of the Google Lunar X-Prize competition last year, which challenged enterprising individuals from around the globe to take up a privately funded moon mission. Team Indus was one of five teams selected to compete in the Milestone prizes and successfully won $1 million as a Milestone prize for their landing technology. Since the announcement of the crowdfunding plan, Team Indus has reportedly received entries from over 10,000 Indians, thrilled to see their name engraved on the lunar surface. The startup is looking to raise up to $10 million by getting 1.4 million citizens to back the mission.
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