The Lunar Polar Exploration Mission (LUPEX) is a joint mission of the Indian and Japanese space agencies to explore the moon’s Polar region. The President of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) revealed the plan at The Sydney Dialogue held between November 17 and 19, 2021.
Aspirants preparing for the upcoming competitive exams can also refer to AIR Spotlight – PM’s Address at Sydney Dialogue, important especially from the perspective of the IAS exam.
This article will provide you with the relevant facts about the LUPEX Mission, its objectives, and pertinent developments for the UPSC Exam.
Candidates preparing for the civil services exam can refer to the links given below to learn more about the Indian Space Research Organisation and related information:
Why is the LUPEX Mission in the News?
- Hiroshi Yamakawa, President, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), revealed the LUPEX mission in the recently held Sydney Dialogue.
- He emphasized the need for greater collaboration between Quad countries (US-JAPAN-AUSTRALIA-INDIA) for future lunar exploration to be a joint effort.
- He also highlighted the possibility of having a human-crewed space station in the vicinity of the moon, enabling sustained exploration in the Polar region and the lunar surface of the moon.
Read about the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD) or QUAD Group, an informal strategic forum to ensure and sustain an open, free and prosperous Indo-Pacific region
About the ISRO LUPEX Mission
- LUPEX is a joint robotic lunar mission of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
- The mission aims to send a lunar rover and lander to explore the South Pole region of the moon by 2024.
- The ISRO will provide the lander, while JAXA will be responsible for the H3 launch vehicle and the rover.
- ISRO and JAXA signed an Implementation Agreement (IA) in December 2017 for pre-phase A and phased A study. They jointly completed the feasibility report to explore the moon’s polar regions in March 2018.
- ISRO and JAXA held a Joint Mission Definition Review (JMDR) in December 2018. In addition, JAXA concluded its internal Project Readiness Review in late 2019.
- After Chandrayaan-2’s lander crash landing in September 2019, India started to study a new lunar mission, namely Chandrayaan-3. The repeated attempt aims to demonstrate India’s landing capabilities needed for the LUPEX Mission.
- JAXA has finished instrument selection for the mission and completed the domestic system requirement review (SRR) for the rover early in 2021.
IAS aspirants can read about the other initiatives and missions led by ISRO and the Japan Space Organisation through the links given below:
The objective of the LUPEX Mission
- The main objective of the LUPEX Mission is water prospecting and analysis. For this, the mission will demonstrate new surface exploration technologies related to vehicular transport and lunar night survival. In addition, the mission aims for sustainable exploration in the polar region of the moon.
- The payload capacity of the lander will be a minimum of 350 kg (770 lb).
- The rover will carry multiple JAXA and ISRO, including a drill to collect sub-surface samples from 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) depth.
Other Cooperation between ISRO and JAXA
- ISRO and JAXA reviewed their cooperation in earth observation and satellite navigation in March 2021.
- Apart from the LUPEX Mission, the two agencies have also agreed to explore opportunities for cooperation in “space situational awareness and professional exchange program.”
- Both the agencies signed an ‘Implementing Arrangement’ for collaborative activities on rice crop area and air quality monitoring using satellite data.
Agreements with Other Countries
- ISRO has recently signed six agreements with four countries for launching foreign satellites during 2021-2023. India is expected to earn about 132 million Euros by launching these foreign satellites on a commercial basis.
- ISRO and the Italian Space Agency (ASI) have decided to explore cooperation opportunities in earth observation, space science, robotic and human exploration.
- ISRO and the Australian Space Agency signed an amendment to the Memorandum of Understanding to build on the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the two countries.
- Australia supports Gaganyaan, India’s first human-crewed space flight mission, by temporarily hosting the necessary ISRO satellite tracking facility.
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Frequently Asked Questions on LUPEX Mission
The LUPEX is a joint lunar mission between which two nations?
The LUPEX is a joint lunar mission between India and Japan.
What is the aim of the LUPEX Mission?
The LUPEX Mission aims to send a lunar rover and lander to explore the South Pole region of the moon by 2024.
What will be India and Japan’s respective contribution to the mission?
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will be responsible for the lander while the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will provide the H3 launch vehicle and the rover.
By when is the LUPEX Mission targeted for launch?
The LUPEX Mission is targeted for launch by 2024.