It looks as if the worlds first space power has decided to team up with India in order to jointly research Earth’s nearest neighbor.

(Earth Times) Russia’s Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos) and India’s Department of Space have signed a joint lunar research and exploration agreement, the Russian agency said Monday. […]

Georgy Polishchuk, general director of Russia’s Lavochkin Design Bureau, said Russia would launch an unmanned mission to the Moon, Luna-Glob, in 2010. The second mission, which will include putting a new-generation 400-kg Lunokhod unmanned rover on the Moon, will start in 2011.

‘The first mission will be solely Russian, but the second will be carried out in conjunction with India,’ Polishchuk said.

While the partnership between the two may look odd to some, a partnership between the two powers would greatly benefit both nations.

Russia has the experience and passion for the moon, but may be lacking cash to actually get there. India has the passion and money to orbit lunar side, but may prefer receiving some “loose mentorship” before heading off on their own.

Russia has already initiated partnerships with Europe, as well as China in its quest to regain its former glory as a space power.

Note: Isn’t it ironic how Russia is spurring international space cooperation while NASA is fostering a “go it alone” approach?

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