India's space ties with Russia received yet another boost with both countries agreeing on a joint lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2, that will feature a lander and a rover to move around the lunar surface and collect samples and data for analysis.

India will provide a launch vehicle and a lunar orbiter while Russia will contribute a landing module and moon rover equipped with a range of scientific instruments. The Indian Space Research Organisation says instruments from other countries could be incorporated. Launch will be by India's three-stage Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle from Satish Dhawan Space Centre on Sriharikota island on India's eastern coast.

The Chandrayaan-2 unmanned lunar laboratory, planned to be launched during 2011-12, could pave the way for more elaborate Moon missions, according to ISRO sources.

Source: Flight International