Japanese delegation in talks with ISRO for using data from lunar and solar missions

According to ISRO, India-Japan space science cooperation at national level, space agency level (ISRO & JAXA), and institute-level were discussed with specific reference to the joint LUPEX (Lunar Polar Exploration) mission

Updated - August 14, 2023 07:10 am IST

Published - August 09, 2023 01:56 pm IST - Bengaluru

A file photo of members of the lunar polar exploration mission reviewing the project with the ISRO team in Bengaluru on April 27, 2023.

A file photo of members of the lunar polar exploration mission reviewing the project with the ISRO team in Bengaluru on April 27, 2023. | Photo Credit: Murali Kumar K

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman S. Somanath met Dr. Saku Tsuneka, Director General, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, on August 8. They discussed space science cooperation between India and Japan.

According to ISRO, India-Japan space science cooperation at national level, space agency level (ISRO & JAXA), and institute-level were discussed with specific reference to the joint LUPEX (Lunar Polar Exploration) mission.

The Indo-Japanese LUPEX mission was envisaged to explore the ‘dark side of the moon’, or in scientific terms, the side that is perpetually facing away from Earth.

The main objective of the mission is to confirm the presence of water in the polar regions of the moon.

The mission is expected to be launched in the next couple of years. The launch vehicle for the mission will be a Japanese rocket, the lander system will be developed by ISRO and the rover by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Its landing point will be the south pole of the moon.

During the meeting with Dr. Tsuneka, who is also Vice-Chair of Japan’s Cabinet Committee on National Space Policy, potential cooperation opportunities in utilisation of data from Aditya L1 and Chandrayaan-3 missions, development of smaller lander for lunar exploration; and joint activities under QUAD Space working group were also discussed.

ISRO is planning to launch the Aditya-L1 mission in August-end, or early September. Aditya-L1 is the first Indian space mission to observe the Sun and the solar corona.

The Chandrayaan-3 moon mission, which was launched on July 14, has been successfully inserted into lunar orbit. The lander is expected to touch down on the lunar surface on August 23.

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