ISRO Congratulates Japan on Lunar Lander Launch, Plans Joint Mission

Bengaluru: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has congratulated the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on the successful launch of its lunar lander mission. ISRO said it wished the global space community continued success in lunar exploration efforts.

The JAXA mission, called SLIM, includes an X-ray telescope and a rover. ISRO’s next lunar mission is expected to be a joint effort with JAXA called the Lunar Polar Exploration Mission (LUPEX).

The LUPEX mission will involve each agency developing a rover and lander. The rover will carry instruments from ISRO, JAXA, NASA, and the European Space Agency (ESA).

The primary objectives of the LUPEX mission include assessing the suitability of the lunar polar region for a sustainable lunar base, investigating the availability of lunar water-ice resources, and demonstrating lunar and planetary surface exploration technologies.

The Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad, India, has proposed multiple instruments for the LUPEX mission. One such instrument, called “Permittivity and Thermo-physical investigation for Moon’s Aquatic Scout (PRATHIMA),” aims to detect and quantify water ice mixed with lunar surface and sub-surface soil using a rover/lander platform. Another proposed instrument, “Lunar Electrostatic Dust EXperiment (LEDEX),” seeks to detect charged dust particles in the volatile-rich polar region, estimate dust size, and observe dust levitation processes.

The LUPEX mission is scheduled to launch in 2025. It is a significant step forward in lunar exploration and international collaboration in space exploration.

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