A minister in the Narendra Modi government has been accused of providing inaccurate information in the Lok Sabha last week, when he said that an Indian-based space start-up was planning on brewing beer on the moon. Dr Jitendra Singh, a minister of state (MoS) in the Prime Minister’s office (PMO) was replying to a question posed by Trinamool Congress parliamentarian Sisir Kumar Adhikari on March 15, a report in the Telegraph said.
Singh apparently picked up his information from social media where there have been rumours about India’s Team Indus having proposed an experiment to brew beer on the moon, as per the Telegraph report. The Kolkata-based English daily reported Singh’s misleading statement in the Parliament from last week, “The experiment plans to brew a small batch of beer in space.”
According to various news reports, Team Indus is among various teams that would be competing for a $30-million prize by Google Lunar XPrize, which would be rewarding the first private mission that could land a robotic spacecraft on the moon and make it travel at least a 500 metres and beam back to earth high-resolution videos and images of the lunar surface. As per news reports, the two experiments that Team Indus would carry out have got nothing to do with brewing beer on the moon.
A co-founder at Team Indus was quoted by the Telegraph as describing the whole proposal of making beer on the lunar body as “embarrassing.”
“That proposal has been discussed on social media, but is not in the final shortlist of teams qualified to fly on our spacecraft,” Team Indus’ Rahul Narayan was quoted as saying in the Telegraph.
Also read: How about beer brewed on moon?
The proposal to brew beer on the moon was first reportedly brought up on Jan 28 when Google Lunar XPRIZE first tweeted out,
“Beer on the Moon? It could be, if this #lab2moon project is on @TeamIndus #GLXP mission!”
There were speculations on the radical proposal on social media, which were only brought to rest after the matter was brought up in the Parliament. TMC’s Adhikari reportedly asked the Modi government if an Indian spacecraft was planning to brew beer on the Moon and, if so, what were the details of the research plan.
Broken to read that India is NOT going to brew beer on the moon. Opportunity lost. pic.twitter.com/spNRPtVRBW
— Peter Lalor (@plalor) March 20, 2017
(Source: Twitter/ Peter Lalor)
Team Indus’s spacecraft will reportedly be carried by the Indian Space Research Organisation’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, the deal for which was signed on Dec 28. The spacecraft aboard the PSLV is expected to land on the northern hemisphere of the moon.
The Telegraph report noted that Team Indus’ mission would end up costing around $65 million, part of which is privately funded. A team of scientists from India’s space agency are also assisting the space start-up with the ambitious mission.
But, there won’t be any beer brewed on the moon, at least for the foreseeable future.