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The LUPEX mission will send an Indian lunar lander and a Japanese rover to explore the Moon: JAXA official

According to Dr.Hiroshi Yamakawa, President of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the LUPEX will include an Indian Lunar lander and a Japanese rover.

The LUPEX mission will send an Indian lunar lander and a Japanese rover to explore the Moon: JAXA official

The Indian and Japanese space agencies are preparing a cooperative lunar mission to explore the polar area. An Indian Lunar lander and a Japanese rover will be part of the LUPEX (Lunar Polar Exploration Mission). At the Sydney Dialogue, an initiative of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Dr.Hiroshi Yamakawa, President, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), revealed this as well as Japan's future mission plans.

When it came to international cooperation, Dr. Yamakawa cited the International Space Station as an excellent example, stating that it has maintained humankind's continued presence in space for more than two decades. In response to the need for greater collaboration between the Quad countries (the United States, Japan, Australia, and India), he stated that future lunar exploration would have to be a collaborative effort, as there was the possibility of establishing a manned space station in the vicinity of the moon, which would allow for long-term exploration in the region as well as on the lunar surface.

Due to the enormous expense of manned missions, the head of Japan's space agency underlined the need for multi-national trips to Mars headed by Quad countries. He explained how Japan has established the technology to land rovers on an asteroid, stay there, collect samples, and return them to Earth, citing the successful Hayabusa 2 mission. The Hayabusa 2 mission arrived on the asteroid Ryugu in June 2018, deployed rovers and landers to collect samples, and then brought them to Earth on December 6th, 2020, when the spacecraft flew past and released a landing capsule with the samples.

In regards to Japan's planned Mars mission, he stated that the country views the future of Mars exploration as a combination of unmanned robotic and manned missions. The Martian Moons eXploration (MMX) mission from Japan seeks to research Mars' moons Phobos and Deimos, as well as collect and return a sample from Phobos to Earth. "Multilateral international cooperation is ideal and realistic than going alone, each one can contribute in the field of their technical expertise and share the cost" he urged the heads of Quad Country Space bodies.

This news about the LUPEX mission with India comes at a time when many countries are collaborating with the United States on the Artemis programme, which intends to return humans to the moon, establish a long-term human presence, and allow for additional exploration. This concept also serves as a warm-up for a mission to deliver astronauts to Mars. India, on the other hand, has made no announcements about collaborating with the Artemis expedition.

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