In 2024–2025, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will conduct a cooperative mission to study the polar regions of the Moon. The Lunar Polar Exploration mission will be the first of its kind to investigate the parts of the Moon that are always dark.
In addition to its potential advantages for science, LUPEX might also be advantageous economically. LUPEX might assist in opening the door for Moon commercial development by locating prospective resources. Both Japan and India may benefit from the creation of new employment and opportunities.
The Challenges of LUPEX Mission
LUPEX is a challenging mission, but it is also an exciting one. The Moon’s polar regions are some of the most extreme environments in the solar system. The temperatures can be as low as -230 degrees Celsius, and the radiation levels are very high.
The lander and rover will need to be specially designed to withstand these harsh conditions. They will also need to be equipped with enough power and supplies to last for the duration of the mission.
Despite the challenges, LUPEX is a mission that is worth pursuing. The potential scientific and economic benefits are too great to ignore. ISRO and JAXA are well-equipped to undertake this mission, and they are committed to making it a success.
The Future of LUPEX
LUPEX is a first step in the exploration of the Moon’s polar regions. If successful, it could pave the way for more ambitious missions in the future. ISRO and JAXA are already planning a follow-up mission, called LUPEX-2, which would be even more ambitious than LUPEX.
LUPEX-2 would involve sending a larger lander and rover to the Moon’s polar regions. The lander would be equipped with a drill to collect samples of lunar ice, and the rover would be used to explore a wider area of the Moon.
LUPEX-2 is a long way off, but it is a goal that ISRO and JAXA are committed to achieving. With their continued collaboration, they could make significant advances in our understanding of the Moon and its potential resources.