India-Japan moon mission: Isro forms study group

The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), which is working on its second Moon landing mission — Chandrayaan-3 — for next year, has now formed a study group for another moon mission along with Japan.

The India-Japan mission, a joint initiative between Isro and Japanese space agency JAXA, was in the cold storage as Isro was focusing on its own moon and human missions. Senior scientists have now confirmed to TOI that it is back on the space agency’s agenda.

As part of the mission, Japan will be launching a joint lunar mission — Lunar Polar Exploration (LPE) — and as details shared by JAXA, the mission will be launched after 2023 and will involve a lander and a rover.
JAXA diagrams show that the Japanese would be building the overall landing module and the rover, while Isro would

develop the lander system. The mission will be launched from Japan, and the designated launch vehicle is the H3 rocket, manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

“What we will design for the Indo-Japan mission will be subject to how the systems on Chandrayaan-3 will perform and whether or not we will be able to achieve a successful landing next year.

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