ISRO’s next possible lunar mission is with its Japanese counterpart, a booming enterprise. The Lunar Polar Exploration Mission (LUPEX) is a collaborative project between the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the Bangalore-based Indian Space Agency. JAXA and ISRO are developing rovers and landers, respectively. The rover will carry instruments not only from ISRO and JAXA, but also from NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA).

Vice-Chairman of the National Space Policy Committee of the Japanese Cabinet and Director of the National Astronomical Observatory Sakuta visited the ISRO headquarters earlier this month and met with Somanath S., the chairman of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. The LUPEX mission.

“Among other things, we discussed the development of a small lander for the LUPEX mission,” an ISRO official said.

According to JAXA, the LUPEX mission aims to explore the suitability of lunar polar regions for establishing sustainable active bases on the moon; gain knowledge on the availability of lunar water ice resources and demonstrate lunar and planetary surface exploration technologies such as vehicle transportation and overnight survival.

The Physics Research Laboratory (PRL) in Ahmedabad, an autonomous unit of the Ministry of Space, has proposed a variety of instruments on the LUPEX mission to make measurements on the surface and subsurface near the permanently shadowed polar regions of the Moon.

One of the proposed instruments, the Permittivity and Thermophysics Research of the Lunar Aquatic Reconnaissance Aircraft (PRATHIMA), is aimed at the in situ detection and quantification of water ice mixed with the lunar surface and subsurface soil using a rover/lander platform .

Another proposed instrument—the Lunar Electrostatic Dust Experiment (LEDEX)—is aimed at detecting the presence of charged dust particles, confirming dust levitation processes in volatile-rich polar regions, and estimating the dust’s approximate size and charged flux. Suspended dust particles.

According to ISRO officials, the LUPEX mission is scheduled to launch in 2025.

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