India & Japan Lunar Polar Exploration Mission

ISRO to lead lander construction in preparation for India-Japan lunar mission between Corona

Both India and Japan are fighting a war against the coronavirus epidemic, but during this time both countries are also together preparing for a lunar mission. The mission is named ‘Lunar Polar Exploration’ (LPE). 

Under this campaign, the lander and rover will be launched on the lunar surface for the first time. Documents associated with the mission have revealed that the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will lead the construction of the lander. 

According to information shared by Japan’s space agency ‘Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’ (Jaxa), the mission will be launched after 2023 as ISRO is currently working on the manned space program (Gaganyaan). It is to be launched in 2022. 

The diagram shared by Jaxa shows that Japan will be building the landing module and rover, while ISRO will build the lander system. The mission will be launched from Japan and the H3 rocket is scheduled for its launch. Which is manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. 

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The mission was first reported in 2017 in Bangalore, where a multi-space agency meeting was held. The mission was also part of inter-governmental discussions during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Japan in 2018.

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Now, a pre-project team set up earlier this year is working on developing a comprehensive management plan for the collaborative mission. This team will examine what is required for the spacecraft system and various interface specifications in association with ISRO. 

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Jaxa said that the analysis of observational data shows us the existence of water in the polar regions of the Moon. Jaxa is working closely with ISRO to plan an international collaborative mission to obtain data on the amount and forms of water resources present there. The Japanese space agency said that we would be able to use these resources for sustainable space exploration activities in the future. 

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The mission aims to get real data about the amount of water from the observation of areas where water exists according to the data already existing. Through this mission, the distribution, conditions, form, and other parameters of lunar water resources in the polar regions will be understood.