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JAXA and ISRO Joint Mission to the South Pole of the Moon: Progress on Rover Development and Exploration for Water

Monday, 23 October 2023 – 18:03 WIB

LIVE Techno – The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is making progress on its rover for a joint mission with India to the South Pole of the Moon.

JAXA and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) approved this collaborative project in 2019. ISRO, which recently made India the fourth country to carry out a soft landing on the moon, will build the mission’s lander, while JAXA will be responsible for the launch and lunar explorers.

Mountains in Antarctica, South Pole.

The mission is scheduled for launch as early as 2025 on Japan’s new H3 rocket, according to JAXA. Meanwhile, the agency is in the rover’s basic design phase and the team is running tests in sand designed to simulate lunar regolith, the fine dust that covers the lunar surface. The tests will verify that the vehicle can carry out its primary science objectives on the moon.

“The LUPEX project will investigate the quantity and quality of water on the moon. “We hope to be able to use this data as a basis for considering continued human activity on the moon in the future,” said Natsu Fujioka, who is part of the rover development team, quoted from Space, Monday, October 23 2023.

The rover will be autonomous and will drive in search of water with its science payload. It will also be able to drill into the lunar surface to collect samples that will then be analyzed by the rover’s instruments.

Each of these capabilities is a feat in itself, but combining them and within weight constraints, presents a serious task.

“It is a challenging project to transport a several-hundred-kilogram rover containing these instruments to the moon, move them, and measure the samples collected on the moon,” Fujioka said.

Temple design near the south pole of the Moon

Other agencies will also send science payloads to the mission. NASA’s Neutron Spectrometer will search for hydrogen up to 3.3 feet (1 meter) below the surface of the South Pole, while the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Exospheric Mass Spectrometer will assess gas pressure and chemical signatures on the surface.

“Analysis of various observational data over the past few years shows that water may exist in the lunar polar regions, the lunar polar regions are the regions around the lunar north and south poles,” said Hiroka Inoue, who was involved in international cooperation and selection. candidate landing site for LUPEX.

“If water can be found in this region, then it can be used as an energy source for human activities on the moon in the future. “Therefore, many countries are aggressively pursuing exploration of the moon.”

India successfully launched the Chandrayaan-3 lunar landing mission this year, while Russia failed with its Luna-25 landing mission.

Next year, NASA is tentatively scheduled to launch Artemis 2 in November 2024 to send astronauts around the moon. Meanwhile, China is working to collect the first samples from the far side of the moon and bring them to Earth in 2024.

Another mission under NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program and a Japanese commercial lander are also planned for a moon shot next year.

2023-10-23 11:03:01
#Japanese #Indian #Duet #Hunting #Water #South #Pole #Moon

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