Science

India, Japan working on lunar sample return mission

Third trip to Moon for space agencies of both the countries

India plans to visit the moon a third time and also return, with Japan for company this time.

Their lander and rover mission will bring samples back from moon, the chiefs of the two space agencies said on Friday.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have started to work out the contours of their joint trip — which will be the third for both countries. They did not say when it would be sent.

The plans are in the early stages: ISRO Chairman and Secretary, Department of Space, A.S.Kiran Kumar, and JAXA president Naoki Okumura said the ‘implementation arrangements’ are likely be reached in a couple of months. The pre-phase studies to decide the scope of work — or the focus of the mission — should be clear in the next six months.

They were addressing a news conference in connection with the annual Asia Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum APRSAF-24 which met here over the last four days.

Dr. Okamura said that with this collaboration, “India and Japan will lead the space sector in the Asia Pacific region. We hope we can do it as soon as possible. It is not easy as we are understanding each other’s [goals and capabilities].”

ISRO sent its first orbiter mission to moon, Chandrayaan-1, in 2008 and plans a lander rover mission by March 2018.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 9:56:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/india-japan-working-on-lunar-sample-return-mission/article20533828.ece

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