The Indian Parliament, no doubt is a multi-coloured place where most of things and issues come unexpectedly. Each year, the discussions on a multitude of topics including the concerns for planet Earth to technology and space take place in Indian Parliament, most out of which are used to be illogical and hilarious. Out of heaps of questions asked of the current government of Indian and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this year’s assembly, Trinamool Congress MP, Sisir Kumar Adhikari’s question was a clear stand out for others.
During the ongoing assembly in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, Sisir Kumar Adhikari asked the Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi if India was preparing to brew alcoholic drink on the moon and soon after it publicises, the general public and social media have started going gaga over it, thinking it to be a funny joke. But the question indirectly has made the Indian government open up about the objective of it future lunar mission.
In the Thursday Assembly in Lok Sabha, Adhikari asked Modi three questions which are:
Whether an Indian Spacecraft is planning to brew beer on the moon?
If so, the details of research plan and viability of yeast test, therefore?
The universal rules on Moon Lander therein?
Though, from a certain point of view, the questions of Adhikari carry a deep significance about India’s approach towards the upcoming lunar missions. From another side they seem just to be a cheap and illogical political trick to drag attention. However, in answers to these questions, Jitendra Singh, the minister of state in the PM’s office, said,
“No Madam. Indian Government has no plan to brew beer on the moon by any of the spaceships, designed and developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)”.
However, Indian Government, in its response to Adhikari’s question gave some promising clues to India’s future space exploration missions. He said,
“Team Indus, the Bengaluru-based privately-funded company under the supervision of Axiom Research Labs Pvt. Ltd., is competing for the international Google Lunar XPrize competition and smoothly moving towards developing a spacecraft which will be capable of making a soft landing and travelling on the Moon.
The spacecraft, built by TeamIndus will be blasted off to Moon onboard a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) of ISRO under a business-related launch contract. As understood from the reports, published in the media, Team Indus is putting forward the suggestion for conducting an experiment to brew beer on the Moon using yeast.”
The aim of this path-breaking experiment is to examine and monitor the capability of the yeast to survive in space and how it operates and grows under the severe gravity conditions of Moon. The plan of the experiment also includes brewing of a small amount of beer on Moon.”
The Five entitled teams for the competition are: Israel’s SpaceIL, Florida-based space company – Moon Express, an international team called Synergy Moon, India’s Bengaluru-based firm Team Indus, and Japan’s Hakuto. SpaceIL. The Lunar probes of all the five teams will take wings on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
All the five teams will contend for the $20 million first prize, announced by the XPrize foundation. The team who will acquire the second place will be awarded the cash prize worth $5 million and bonus money will be offered for accomplishing additional assignments like taking a tour of an Apollo landing site or exploring water on the moon.
Among these 5 finalists, TeamIndus – the Bengaluru-based space startup is the only Indian company to compete for the Google Lunar XPRIZE. Ac per the official statement, given by XPRIZE Foundation and Google, now, the finalists have time till 31st December 2017 to prepare their lunar probes for the mission.
As per the earlier instruction, the competitor companies needed to conduct some specific activities on the surface of Moon, which includes, making their space probes take a trip of the Moon around1, 640 feet (500 meters) and transmit high-definition video, by the end of the current year. Initially, 33 teams have applied for the contest, however, only five teams have a successfully paved path towards the final round of Google Lunar XPrize.
As per the programmed agenda, India’s Team Indus and China’s Hakuto team will share a lunar ride on ISRO’s PSLV launcher. Similarly, Florida’s Moon Express will launch its probe from a startup Rocket Lab, which is currently working on a tiny rocket called Electron.