It is yet to be seen who will win Google's Lunar XPRIZE worth USD 25 million in the race to reach the moon. In a display of sportsmanship, India's TeamIndus will carry the rover of rival Hakuto on its own spacecraft where they will compete for the prize.
The privately funded teams are required to land their spacecrafts on the moon, travel 500 metres and broadcast a high definition video and images and send the data back to Earth in order to win the Googles Lunar XPRIZE.
The TeamIndus spacecraft will carry its own indigenously designed and developed robotic rover, ECA - short for 'Ek Chhoti si Asha' (one small wish) and will also take along the Japanese Rover.
"We are delighted to welcome Hakuto on board our spacecraft and look forward to working with them over the next few months... This is a reaffirmation of our technology preparedness as we continue to build towards becoming the first private entity to land on the moon," TeamIndus Fleet Commander Rahul Narayan said.
TeamIndus had recently signed a commercial launch contract with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for the moon mission.
The spacecraft will be launched by TeamIndus aboard ISRO's PSLV rocket that will put the spacecraft into an orbit 800 km above the surface of the earth.
From there the spacecraft will set course to the moon by switching on its own engines. Both the rovers would be deployed after landing on the lunar surface on Mars Imbrium.
Industry veterans including Ratan Tata (Tata Group), Nandan Nilekani (Infosys), Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal (Flipkart) and Venu Srinivasan (TVS Group) among others have supported TeamIndus.
"TeamIndus can carry up to 20 kgs of payload, of which the Japanese rover is 4 kgs. In addition to that, we are carrying International University payloads and student experiments under our Lab2moon initiative," TeamIndus Jedi Master (International Sales) Sridhar Ramasubban said.
TeamIndus has already won USD 1 million under the competition for demonstrating its landing technology. Hakuto, on the other hand, won USD 500,000 Mobility Prize for the robotic rover it developed.