Lunar Polar Exploration Mission


Lunar Polar Exploration Mission
NamesLunar Polar Exploration[1][2]
Mission typeLunar lander, rover
OperatorISRO / JAXA
Mission duration6 months (planned)[3]
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerLander: ISRO
Launcher and rover: JAXA
Launch mass≈6,000 kg (13,000 lb) [4]
Payload mass≈350 kg (770 lb) [5]
Start of mission
Launch dateSuggested: 2024[1][2]
Launch siteLA-Y, Tanegashima
ContractorMitsubishi Heavy Industries
Moon lander
Spacecraft componentRover
Landing siteSouth polar region
Moon rover

The Lunar Polar Exploration Mission (LUPEX) is a robotic lunar mission concept by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)[7][8][9] that would send a lunar rover and lander to explore the south pole region of the Moon in 2024.[1][2][6] JAXA is likely to provide the under-development H3 launch vehicle and the rover, while ISRO would be responsible for the lander.[8][10]

The mission concept has not yet been formally proposed for funding and planning.[11]

In November 2019, ISRO officials stated that a new lunar lander mission was being studied for launch in November 2020; this new proposal is called Chandrayaan-3 and it would be performed by ISRO alone as a repeat attempt to demonstrate the landing capabilities needed for the Lunar Polar Exploration Mission proposed in partnership with Japan in 2024.[12]


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.[13][10] For precision landing it would utilize a feature matching algorithm and navigational equipment derived from JAXA's SLIM mission.[4][14] The lander's payload capacity would be 350 kg (770 lb) at minimum.[5][3][15] The rover would carry multiple instruments by JAXA and ISRO including a drill to collect sub-surface samples from 1.5 m (4.9 ft) depth.[16][3] Water prospecting and analysis are likely to be mission objectives.[8][17] Payload proposals from other space agencies might be sought.[7][14]

On 24 September 2019, in a joint statement by JAXA and NASA discussed possibility of NASA's participation as well.[18]

See also


  1. ^ a b c After Mars, ISRO to Set a Date with Venus. Trak. Malvika Gurung. 20 May 2019.
  2. ^ a b c After Reaching Mars, India's Date With Venus In 2023 Confirmed, Says ISRO. U. Tejonmayam, India Times. 18 May 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "国際協力による月探査計画への参画に向けて参考資料" (PDF). 29 August 2019. p. 21. Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 October 2019. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
  4. ^ a b "月離着陸実証(HERACLES)ミッションの紹介 と検討状況" (PDF). 28 January 2019. p. 12. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 November 2019. Retrieved 15 November 2019.
  5. ^ a b Hoshino, Takeshi; Wakabayashi, Sachiko; Ohtake, Makiko; Karouji, Yuzuru; Hayashi, Takahiro; Morimoto, Hitoshi; Shiraishi, Hiroaki; Shimada, Takanobu; Hashimoto, Tatsuaki; Inoue, Hiroka; Hirasawa, Ryo (May 2020). "Lunar polar exploration mission for water prospection - JAXA's current status of joint study with ISRO". Acta Astronautica. 176: 52–58. doi:10.1016/j.actaastro.2020.05.054.
  6. ^ a b Shimbun, The Yomiuri (2019-07-30). "Japan, India to team up in race to discover water on moon". The Japan News. Retrieved 2019-07-30.
  7. ^ a b "India's next Moon shot will be bigger, in pact with Japan". The Times of India. 2019-07-07. Retrieved 2019-06-21. For our next mission — Chandrayaan-3 — which will be accomplished in collaboration with JAXA (Japanese Space Agency), we will invite other countries too to participate with their payloads.
  8. ^ a b c "Episode 82: Jaxa and International Collaboration with Professor Fujimoto Masaki". AstrotalkUK. 2019-01-04. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  9. ^ "Global Exploration Roadmap Supplement August 2020. Lunar Surface Exploration Scenario Update" (PDF). August 2020.
  10. ^ a b Hoshino, Takeshi; Ohtake, Makiko; Karouji, Yuzuru; Shiraishi, Hiroaki (May 2019). "Current status of a Japanese lunar polar exploration mission". Archived from the original on 25 July 2019. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  11. ^ ISRO planning 7 interplanetary missions, Venus on the to-do list. Sidharth MP, DNA. 18 May 2019.
  12. ^ ISRO Will Embark on Chandrayaan 3 by November 2020 for Another Landing Attempt. The Wire. 14 November 2019.
  13. ^ Sasaki, Hiroshi (17 June 2019). "JAXA's Lunar Exploration Activities" (PDF). UNOOSA. p. 8. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  14. ^ a b NASA Exploration Science Forum 2019 - Masaki Fujimoto. Event occurs at 3 minute 6 seconds.
  15. ^ "Objective and Configuration of a Planned Lunar Polar Exploration Mission" (PDF). 1 February 2020. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  16. ^ Spaceflight, Meghan Bartels 2019-10-23T13:00:22Z. "Japan Sets Sights on Moon with NASA and India". Retrieved 2019-10-23.
  17. ^ Six-day cruise lies ahead for India's Chandrayaan-2 probe before the real lunar shenanigans begin. Richard Speed, The Register. 14 August 2019.
  18. ^ "JAXA | Joint Statement on Cooperation in Lunar Exploration". JAXA | Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Retrieved 2019-10-14.