The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) intends to launch Chandrayaan-II to the moon in the first quarter of 2013, according to ISRO Chandrayaan I and II project director Mylswamy Annadurai.

Chandrayaan-II will land on the lunar surface and conduct chemical, mineralogical and photo-geologic mapping of the moon to confirm its predecessor’s findings.

The spacecraft will carry fewer instruments than the first lunar mission, Chandrayaan-I and will also examine the presence of water.

The project is on schedule, the designs of the rover and orbiter for the mission have been finalised and the fabrication will begin shortly, according to Annadurai.

The new mission is a four-year project under Indo-Russian collaboration.