In the running to be the first privately funded Spacecraft to soft-land on the Moon is TeamIndus’ quadropod. The spacecraft will weigh 600 kg at takeoff and will be housed inside the nosecone of the Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO)’s workhorse launch vehicle, the PSLV and is slated for launch from Sriharikota in late 2017.
Nearly two-thirds of its weight at take off is the propellent that will be burned during the journey to the moon, after the PSLV injects it to a lower earth orbit. The spacecraft houses the main rocket engine, sixteen thrusters, a propellent tank, an oxidiser tank, the TeamIndus MoonRover codenamed ECA, commercial payload, experimental payload and an experiment designed by students as part of Lab2Moon.
It will also house a cube with the names of all who have supported TeamIndus in this Mission. The landing technology that was designed and developed by TeamIndus for the spacecraft has already been validated by the Google Lunar XPrize, with the award of a $1million milestone prize in 2014, after it underwent intense vibration and landing tests.