India's Moon Exploration Program

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LUPEX from JAXA page (Google translate)
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Lunar Polar Explorer (LUPEX)
Searching for water at the moon's south pole
Investigating the availability of water on the moon through mobile exploration using a rover
The Lunar Polar Exploration (LUPEX) mission is to determine whether the Moon's water resources can be used for future sustainable space exploration activities. As the rover moves around the moon, the onboard observation equipment will collect a variety of data. We excavate at multiple locations and collect regolith to find out where and how much water is present.

Rover-mounted observation equipment
The rover will be equipped with the following observation equipment.
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① Water resource analyzer (REIWA) ② Thermogravimetric analyzer (LTGA) ③ Multi-reflection TOF mass spectrometer (TRITON) ④ Laser trace moisture/isotope analyzer (ADORE) ⑤ ISRO sample analyzer (ISAP) *Raman Spectrometers planned ⑥ Near-infrared imaging spectrometer (ALIS) ⑦ Neutron detector (NS) ⑧ Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) ⑨ Surface partial pressure meter (EMS-L) ⑩ Mid-infrared imaging spectrometer (MIR)
LUPEX rover overview
Water in the lunar polar regions has the potential to be used as a resource (propellant fuel), and information on where and how much water exists will have a major impact on various activities using the moon in the future.
Information about the form of water present is also important for making full-scale use of water on the moon. In addition, the surface exploration technology of gravitational objects obtained by LUPEX will be important for expanding the scope of future activities on the lunar surface, such as manned pressurized rovers and base construction, and is expected to contribute to subsequent missions.
Direct measurement of moisture content
Direct measurement of water content and identification of molecular weight and molecular species in volatile gas using thermogravimetric analysis in a closed system.
High precision vertical exploration
Local collection of excavated soil samples (less than 3 cm) using a clamshell at the tip of an auger.
Horizontal exploration of diverse environments
A four-legged crawler system with high running and climbing performance that can handle the high slopes of the lunar regions.
Survivability
High-efficiency, lightweight thin-film solar cell towers and ultra-high energy density Li-ion batteries enable long-term observation of non-sunlit areas and overnight.
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LUPEX rover (diagonal)

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LUPEX rover (front)

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LUPEX rover (left side)

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LUPEX rover traveling through a crater (image)

Implementation system
LUPEX is an international joint mission with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). Japan will be responsible for the development and operation of the rocket and rover, and India will be responsible for the development and operation of the lander. In addition, the LUPEX rover will be equipped with not only Japanese observation equipment, but also equipment from India, America, and Europe.
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Japan-India share

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Combined state of the lander and rover immediately after landing

Origin of the mission logo
This mark is a simple design of the LUPEX rover's characteristic solar panels, drilling drill, and high-gain antenna, which are connected to water (ice) underground. The fact that it is a lunar exploration is subtly incorporated by including the moon at a low age.
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mission logo

Flight information
Please scroll horizontally to read.
itemContent
launch rocketH3
Launch yearFY2025
launch siteTanegashima Space Center
Launch mass6 tons
payload mass350 kg (mass of rover and onboard observation equipment)

Observation flow
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We select target points (waypoints) and exploration areas with distinctive temperature, sunlight, and geology near the landing site, and set a wide-area route plan in advance. From the landing site, the rover will move to the exploration area based on a route plan, carry out observation operations, and charge its battery.
As for observation operations, in each exploration area,
  1. Sparse observation: Obtain basic data for determining drilling locations within the exploration area
  2. Detailed observation: Collect regolith samples from the surface layer to a depth of approximately 1.5m and analyze them in more detail using a water resource analyzer, etc.
and obtain data on water (ice) distribution, morphology, and abundance.

Continued...
 

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Continued from above...

Project Relay Talk LUPEX
Interview article with the Lunar Polar Explorer (LUPEX) Project Team: ``What is the ``LUPEX'' project to determine the existence of water in the lunar polar regions? ” is here.
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Project members (from the back left: Yuji Katsuki and Shinya Kosaka, from the front left: Ryusuke Nishitani, Dai Kasei)

*Unless otherwise noted, image credit is ©JAXA
 

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Chandrayaan-4 mission in process of developing: Isro chairman Somanath
He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had set the country's target of landing on the moon in early 2040s and ISRO is on a continuous exploration mission.
Isro chief S Somanath

Isro chief S Somanath (Photo: ANI)
Indian Space Research Organisation Chairman S Somanath on Tuesday said the Chandrayaan-4 mission is in the "process of developing".
He said space research is a continuous process and the country is on the trajectory of "great progress".
He was interacting with the media after attending the twentieth anniversary of the Sat Paul Mittal School here.
Dr Somanath said that Isro is committed to its mission for the moon.
He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had set the country's target of landing on the moon in early 2040s and Isro is on a continuous exploration mission.
The Isro chairman said, besides space research, the organisation is also engaging and involving students across the country in various technology development projects.
In August last year, India's moon mission Chandrayaan-3 touched down on the lunar south pole.
 

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ISRO to continue lunar missions until an Indian lands on moon: Somanath
Last August, the premier space agency’s Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft made a soft landing on the south pole of the lunar surface, making India the first country to achieve the feat.
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ISRO Chairman S SomanathCredit: PTI Photo
Ahmedabad: The Indian Space Research Organisation will continue its Chandrayaan series of lunar probes until an astronaut from the country lands on the Moon, said ISRO Chairman S Somanath on Wednesday.
Last August, the premier space agency’s Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft made a soft landing on the south pole of the lunar surface, making India the first country to achieve the feat.
“Chandrayaan 3 has done very well. Data has been collected and scientific publication has just started. Now, we want to continue the Chandrayaan series till an Indian lands on the Moon. Before that, we have to master many technologies, such as going there and coming back. That we are trying to do in the next mission,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an event.
“The airdrop test will happen on April 24. Then two more uncrewed missions will happen next year and then the manned mission, if everything goes well, by the end of next year,” the ISRO chairman said.
The Gaganyaan project envisages the demonstration of human spaceflight capability by launching a crew of 3 members to an orbit of 400 km for a 3-day mission and bringing them back safely to Earth, by landing in Indian sea waters.
On ISRO's newly developed Carbon-Carbon (C-C) nozzle for rocket engines, he said it will improve payload capacity for being lightweight and it will be installed in the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle or PSLV.
“This is the technology we wanted to develop over the past many years. Now we have mastered it, built it and then tested it in the engine. It’s a Carbon-Carbon nozzle. It gives us a weight advantage in comparison to metal and it also allows us to operate at higher temperatures. Reduction in weight improves the efficiency of engine and payload capacity. We are going to put it in PSLV,” he said.
In a release on April 16, ISRO announced that it had achieved a breakthrough in rocket engine technology with the development of a lightweight C-C nozzle for rocket engines, enhancing payload capacity.
This innovation accomplished by the space agency's Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre promises to enhance the vital parameters of rocket engines, including thrust levels, specific impulse, and thrust-to-weight ratios, thereby boosting the payload capacity of launch vehicles, it said.
If that translates to uncrewed Gaganyaan G1 & G2 postponed to next years, I don't know what they exactly are doing here in 2024 LOL.:)
 

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It is strange that they haven't announced the specific date of any launches, not even of the SSLV-D3. That was originally supposed to go up by the end of March.
 

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