After the grand success of the Chandrayaan-3 mission, India is paving its way for its next lunar mission. ISRO is working in collaboration with the Japanese space agency JAXA to carry out the next moon mission called the Lunar Polar Exploration Mission also known as the Chandrayaan-4 mission. Check here to know all about this upcoming India-Japan lunar mission.
LUPEX or Chandrayaan-4 mission
Chandrayaan-4 is currently said to be in its planning state. According to the official website of JAXA, the LUPEX mission aims to gather data on the quantity and forms of water present on the lunar surface. The Chandrayaan-4 mission will not only identify the presence of water but also investigate its quantity, distribution on the lunar surface and below ground, and its various forms, including its interaction with dry regolith particles. Another goal mentioned by JAXA is to understand how water on the lunar surface evolved to its present state. This can help ISRO and JAXA scientists to get a better understanding of the evolution of the Moon.
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The recent details obtained from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) indicate that the Chandrayaan-4 mission could survive for 100 days on the lunar surface. This duration is five times more than the life of the Chandrayaan-3 mission. According to the information gathered from JAXA, LUPEX could get a payload mass of above 350 including a rover. Notably, the weight of the Chandrayaan-3 mission’s rover ‘Pragyan’, was only 26 kg.
To launch this mission, an H3 rocket would be used as a launch vehicle. The investigation area and observation points on the Lunar surface will be selected prior. The investigation area will be selected on the basis of unique environmental and geological conditions. The Chandrayaan-4 mission’s lander will land at a location where there are long sunlight hours so that the rover can be deployed there for a long period of time.
The mission will explore the permanently shadowed areas at the lunar south pole as it is believed that there is a presence of ice and minerals.
The ISRO-JAXA collaboration in space missions can provide scientists with multiple opportunities to try different technologies and share ideas. This can enhance the chances of success of the Chandrayaan-4 mission.
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