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Part II: To the moon and back

June 8, 2015

Rahul Narayan   

Serial entrepreneur

In his previous post Team Indus founder Rahul Narayan shared the story of Team Indus’ genesis. Here, he explores the integral role of connectivity in transmitting HD video and imagery from the moon back to Earth as part of the team’s ambitious Google Lunar XPrize mission.

When you think about the scale of our project and the task in hand, it’s intimidating. There are amazing natural wonders, valuable resources, and unsolved mysteries waiting to be discovered on the moon and it’s our task to send HD visual content back to earth for everyone to enjoy by the end of 2016.

To ensure we don’t become overwhelmed, we take one day at a time, never looking beyond one or two milestones ahead. There are so many components and variables for the mission strategy and system design that we’re constantly coming up with new solutions to problems – often going back to the drawing board if a thesis doesn’t prove true.

Throughout these trials and tribulations, one thing is constant throughout: the importance of connectivity and communications. For the mission to be successful, a real-time radio link between the Mission Command centre and the Spacecraft is critical, and this is where Tata Communications comes in.

This all began in early 2014 when we met with Vinod Kumar, CEO of Tata Communications. He shared the scale and capabilities of Tata Communications’ network with us – that already delivers connectivity from continent to continent across the Earth – and its potential to support communications even further, to the moon and back!

On the very same day we went into partnership and we haven’t looked back. In our day to day operations we leverage connectivity, collaboration and technology solutions from Tata Communications in our design, development production and qualification processes. From high performance computing infrastructure for engineering simulations right through to data centre capabilities for hosting, this collaboration provides the ongoing support we need.

And during the mission itself, we’ll rely on the Tata Communications’ low latency global network to inter-connect international DSN ground stations, which will enable round-the-clock visibility to and from our Spacecraft positioned on the moon.

It’s hard to truly grasp the sheer size of our moon and what lies on its surface nearly 400,000 kilometres away. Working with Tata Communications we’re taking steps to bring us closer to this realisation, aiming to bring the wonders of the moon to people across the globe, and who knows what we may discover in the process.

To follow our mission and see how we’re using cutting edge technology to take one small step for man and a giant leap for mankind, check out our Facebook page here: