News: India and Japan are working together on a joint lunar polar exploration (LUPEX) mission that aims to send a lander and rover to the Moon’s the South Pole around 2024.
- The LUPEX is a robotic lunar mission concept by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
- It would send a lunar rover and lander to explore the South Pole region of the Moon in 2024.
- JAXA is likely to provide the under-development H3 launch vehicle and the rover, while ISRO would be responsible for the lander.
- The mission concept has not yet been formally proposed for funding and planning.
- The Lunar Polar Exploration mission would demonstrate new surface exploration technologies related to vehicular transport and lunar night survival for sustainable lunar exploration in Polar Regions.
Agreements with Other Countries:
- India and Italy have decided to explore opportunities in earth observation, space science and robotic and human exploration.
- India and Australia signed an amendment to the MoU which will build on the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Both countries are also in discussions for Australia to host vital tracking infrastructure to support the Gaganyaan manned space flight mission.
Achievements through International Cooperation
- Chandrayaan-1: ISRO’s maiden mission to Moon, the Chandrayaan-1, has been an exemplary example of international cooperation with its international payloads. It has also earned several national and international laurels and was instrumental in the ISRO-NASA joint discovery of water molecules on the moon surface, unattained by any of the previous missions of such nature.
- Megha-Tropiques: The Indo-French joint satellite mission called MEGHA-TROPIQUES was launched in 2011 for the study of the tropical atmosphere and climate related to aspects such as monsoons, cyclones, etc.
- Saral: The Indo-French joint mission, named SARAL (Satellite for ALTIKA and ARGOS) for studying the ocean from space using altimetry was successfully launched in 2013.
- NISAR: ISRO and NASA are realizing a joint satellite mission called NISAR (NASA ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar) for earth science studies. The mission will observe Earth and measure its changing ecosystem and masses globally. It is the world’s most expensive imaging-satellite and the two space agencies intend to launch the satellite by 2022.
- UNNATI: ISRO has launched capacity building programme on nano satellite development, named as UNNATI (UNispace Nanosatellite Assembly & Training by ISRO) as an initiative of UNISPACE+50 (the 50th Anniversary of the first United Nations conference on the exploration and peaceful uses of outer space).
- TRISHNA: ISRO and the French space agency CNES have partnered in developing advanced upgradation satellites like TRISHNA to monitor the water cycle to help in finding out proper ways to utilize it.