Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is preparing for one more lunar mission, this one in collaboration with Japanese space agency, The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). This mission, called LUPEX, or Lunar Polar Exploration, is slated for 2024-25. But there would be more in the Chandrayaan series as well. LUPEX will offer ISRO another opportunity to probe the surface of the Moon.
About the LUPEX
As its name suggests, LUPEX will also explore the polar regions of the Moon, this time venturing into the permanently shaded regions. One half of the Moon never faces the Sun, and is therefore permanently dark. To land in these areas, the spacecraft and the onboard instruments have to have an alternative power supply option through an onboard battery. LUPEX is also planned to investigate the abundance of water in the polar regions, and explore the possibilities of locating a long-term station in these areas. For the LUPEX mission, the launch vehicle and rover are supposed to be contributed by the Japanese agency, while the lander will come from ISRO. Incidentally, JAXA is sending its own landing mission, its first, to the Moon later this week.
The immediate priority for ISRO is the Aditya-L1, its first mission to the Sun, which is slated for an early September launch. Aditya-L1, referred to by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address today, will observe the Sun from a distance of 90 million km. It is meant to study the different kinds of phenomena like solar corona, solar emissions, solar winds and flares, and coronal mass ejections. It will also do an imaging of the Sun.
Important takeaways for all competitive exams:
- Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Founded: 1 October 2003;
- Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Headquarters: Chōfu, Tokyo, Japan.