Indian Lunar Lander, Japanese Rover to Explore Moon in Lupex Mission, Says JAXA Official

Chennai: Indian and Japanese space agencies are planning a joint mission to the Moon, which aims to explore the polar region. The mission, which will be known as LUPEX (Lunar Polar Exploration Mission), will have an Indian lunar lander and a Japanese rover. Dr. Hiroshi Yamakawa, President of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), revealed this and Japan’s future mission plans at the Sydney Dialogue, an initiative of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

Speaking of international cooperation, Dr. Yamakawa said that the International Space Station was a great example, as it ensured the continued presence of mankind in space for more than two decades. On the need for more cooperation between the Quad countries (US-Japan-Australia-India), he said that future lunar exploration should be a joint effort, as the possibility of a manned space station around the Moon exists. , which could enable continued exploration in this region and also on the lunar surface.

The head of the Japanese space agency stressed the need for multi-national missions to Mars, which would be led by the Quad countries, due to the high cost of manned missions. Referring to the successful Hayabusa 2 mission, he highlighted how Japan had developed the ability to land rovers on the asteroid, live there, collect samples and return them to Earth. The Hayabusa 2 spacecraft arrived at asteroid Ryugu in June 2018, deployed rovers and landers to collect samples, and then made it to Earth on 6 December 2020, as the spacecraft swooped down on Earth and dropped a landing capsule containing samples Gave.

On Japan’s planned Mars mission, he said the country saw the future of Mars exploration as a mix of unmanned robotic and manned. Japan’s Martian Moons Exploration (MMX) mission aims to study the Mars moons Phobos and Deimos, while collecting a sample from Phobos and returning it to Earth. “Multilateral international cooperation is ideal and realistic, going alone, everyone can contribute in their area of ​​technical expertise and share the cost” he urged the heads of the Quad Country Space bodies.

The announcement on the LUPEX mission with India comes at a time when several countries are joining hands with the US for the Artemis programme, which aims to return humans to the Moon, establish a long-term human presence and enable further exploration. To do. The plan is also a precursor to the mission to send astronauts to Mars. However, India has not made any announcement regarding any collaboration with the Artemis Mission.

Read also: ISRO working on hack-proof comms, robots, self-healing materials, debris-free rockets and satellites

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