Among the five teams competing in the world's first international lunar probe contest, one of them, India's TeamIndus, is unique in its beginning and breadth of cooperation with a rival team.

The Bangalore-based startup firm is the only Indian team in the Google Lunar XPRIZE contest, in which five privately funded finalists are competing to land their spacecraft on the moon and deploy robotic rovers on its surface. They're facing a deadline of the end of March.

TeamIndus has partnered with the Japanese team to transport the latter's rover as well as its own to the moon using its own spacecraft, which is to be launched aboard an Indian rocket in March. It is the first collaboration between two of the contest's private enterprise competitors.