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Ratan Tata flags off Moonshot Wheels in Bengaluru

Tuesday - February 7, 2017 9:49 pm , Category : INDIA

Tata Sons' interim Chairman Ratan Tata on Tuesday flagged off Moonshot Wheels, a mobile science exhibition bus that will traverse 11 states across the country showcasing models of lander, rover and a spacecraft of TeamIndus, a space start-up bracing to launch its lunar mission this year-end.

The 79-year-old Tata, however did not make any announcement or comment on the start-up's novel initiative to take STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and space education to about 36,000 students in state-run schools.


"Though Tata's office told us on Monday that he would make an announcement on the occasion, he did not due to change in programme," a spokesperson of the event told IANS later.

Prior to unveiling the hi-tech bus to flag-off, Tata keenly observed the models and instruments that will conduct a slew of science experiments after landing on the lunar surface on January 26, 2018.

Looking frail and walking around slowly, Tata was seen in high spirits while interacting with the young members of TeamIndus and Agastya International Foundation's officials.

"The Moonshot bus will travel about 12,500 km for 12 months from Wednesday to allow high school students understand our space mission, interact with rocket scientists and members of India's first private moon mission," said TeamIndus Marketing and Outreach Programmes Leader Sheelika Ravishankar.

The mobile expo will have a capsule with a message of 'Har Indian Ka Moonshot' and collect the wishes of the children visiting the bus and send them to the moon onboard its spacecraft. It will also carry live satellite tracking and experience zone.

The bus will ride through towns and villages across Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu.

"As we believe solutions for mankind's challenges will come from ordinary people, the best way to inspire the next generation of scientists and leaders is to create experiential learning opportunities and provide recognition for achievements," said TeamIndus Fleet Commander Rahul Narayan.

TeamIndus is among five teams competing in the Google Lunar Xprize, a global contest challenging privately funded teams to land a spacecraft on the moon by December. It is also looking to inspire every Indian to dream bigger and redefine what is thought possible out of India.IANS
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