As far as long shots go, this was truly a moonshot—both literally and otherwise. A true leap of faith which rallied nationalistic sentiments and tens of millions of dollars in angel funds. But in the end, this moonshot seems to have fizzled out. The launch contract that TeamIndus signed with Antrix Corporation—the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro)—in December 2016, in pursuit of its $30-million Google Lunar XPRIZE goal, has been cancelled.
TeamIndus and Isro call off their GLXP launch contract
Is it the end of the Google Lunar XPRIZE for TeamIndus, one of the five finalists for the $30-million moonshot?
TeamIndus and Isro have not made it public yet but they have called off the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle launch contract signed for the GLXP mission
A host of issues led to this decision though primary among them is a payment cycle gone awry. A chartered PSLV flight costs anywhere between $25-30 million
TeamIndus continues its fund-raising efforts though it’s not clear whether it would go for an independent moon mission in 2018 or later or take a different growth path altogether
What was supposed to be a banner year for the Bengaluru company, hasn’t begun well but it could still have an expected end