Team Indus - Saumil Vaidya (third from left) at their headquarters. Pic/Saumil Vaidya Facebook page
Mumbai boy Saumil Vaidya has been shortlisted to fly to moon by TeamIndus, India's first private lunar mission. Saumil will be leading the A lunar-related project.
Saumil Vaidya, a former student of Swami Vivekananda International School in Borivli will be a part of the project called Team EARS, short for Electrostatics Active Radiation Shield.
TeamIndus's Lab2Moon contest on March 15 had invited students from across the world to design and build an experiment that could be flown to the moon in which Saumil's project and another from Italy were declared winners
Saumil, who is now employed in Pune, told Times of India that the project is aimed to protect future human settlers on the moon from radiation. "The idea is to build an electrostatic radiation shield around a spacecraft and lunar habitat," he said. His team members are Aishwarya Mungale, studying in Goa University, and Aniket Kamat of Kolhapur.
According to Saumil, the main challenge for the team now is to obtain funds of Rs 4 crore by April 15 to send their project. The project weighs a mere 250gm with three vats of power, to the moon. After the scholarship is obtained, saumil and team will start working on the flight model of the experiment which they are planning to make it ready by October.
TeamIndus' website states it to be the only Indian team competing for the Google Lunar XPRIZE. The $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE is a global competition to challenge and inspire engineers and entrepreneurs to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration.