The privately funded TeamIndus is now part of a U.S. consortium that NASA has shortlisted to potentially fly scientific and commercial cargo to the moon over the next 10 years early November. TeamIndus joined the consortium led by OrbitBeyond, a new space transportation company. For now, it is the only Indian element in the NASA lunar scheme and has been tasked
with doing “lander engineering”. On November 29, the agency named nine industry partners as eligible to bid for its high-value lunar contracts in the coming years. Among them are startups
(similar to TeamIndus), who are bidding on their own; and established defense and aerospace names such as Lockheed Martin. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine was quoted as saying the lunar goal would build steps to bigger missions to Mars. The agency said these early lunar missions would demonstrate important technologies that will, in turn, lead to the making of “future landers and other exploration systems needed for humans to return to the lunar surface and help prepare the agency to send astronauts to explore Mars.” Backed by over 500 years
worth of cumulative expertise in building India's space programme, they are poised to create history, to become the first private enterprise to touch down on the Moon.
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