ISRO is very eager for another shot at the moon. On it’s next mission ISRO is trying to go beyond and one more better, and may include bringing back sample from the moon’s polar region.
For the operation of this mission, named – Lunar Polar Exploration – ISRO will be collaborating with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Jaxa). “Isro and Jaxa scientists are conducting a feasibility study to realise a joint satellite mission to explore the Moon’s polar region,” ISRO said in a statement.
Chandrayaan-2 was first cleared by former Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh in September 2008. A joint venture with Russia was also planned at that time, whose space agency Roscosmos was to provide the lander. However, that deal fell through and Isro decided to go solo in 2012.
Jaxa’s asteroid explorer Hayabusa2 successfully completed its second risky landing on an asteroid this July, which reflects to the island the nation’s technological prowess.
India has proposed human spaceflight mission in 2022 and after this the joint Isro-Jaxa Moon mission is likely to be implemented in 2024.
Joint India-Japan moon mission was part of the intergovernmental discussions during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Japan in 2018. The first thinking on a joint India-Japan Moon mission was already made public in 2017, during a multi-space agencies’.
If Chandrayaan-2 had landed at the south polar region on Moon, it would have helped plan and prepare for the joint project, sources in Isro said the mission is still “very much on the table” and Isro and Jaxa scientists will continue to work on it.
India would have become the fourth nation to have landed on moon, had Vikram soft-landed successfully on saturday, a feat even Japan has not achieved. It seems, going by initial discussions The Lunar Polar Exploration (LPE), is looking at sending a rover to Moon and its timeline will coincide with Nasa’s return to Moon in the next few years through the Artemis programme.
Nasa is planning to send humans back on the moon again, but on the other hand Isro-Jaxa mission will only be a robotic mission.
The man behind Chandrayaan-1, M Annadurai said that “…There’s serious thinking to use Moon as an outpost, just like missions in Antarctica. In the long-run, the space station is likely to be scrapped, and countries including the US are seriously considering building structures more permanent on Moon and working out of there. When it happens, we want India to have contributed.