ISRO, JAXA review cooperation on joint lunar polar exploration satellite mission

·2-min read

Bengaluru, Mar 11 (PTI) Indian and Japanese space agencies on Thursday reviewed their ongoing cooperation to launch a joint lunar polar exploration (LUPEX) mission.

Scientists from Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have been working on the mission that aims to send a lander and rover to the Moon's south pole around 2024.

Secretary in the Department of Space and ISRO Chairman K Sivan and JAXA President Hiroshi Yamakawa led their delegations at a bilateral meeting held on virtual mode.

'Apart from reviewing on-going cooperation in earth observation, lunar cooperation and satellite navigation, both sides have agreed to explore opportunities for cooperation in space situational awareness and professional exchange programme', an ISRO statement said.

'On this occasion, both agencies signed an 'Implementing Arrangement' for collaborative activities on rice crop area and air quality monitoring using satellite data', the Bengaluru headquartered space agency said.

On March four, India and Italy decided to explore opportunities in the field of earth observation, space science and robotic and human exploration.

On February 28, ISRO successfully launched the 637-kg Brazilian satellite Amazonia-1 on board PSLV-C51 rocket from Sriharikota spaceport.

Brazil's Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Marcos Pontes visited ISROs Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh's Nellore district, about 100 kms from Chennai, and witnessed the launch.

Union Minister Jitendra Singh, who heads the DoS, also had a virtual interaction with Pontes and officials of the Brazilian space agency.

'Brazil has requested India's support in procurement of material and systems for its launch vehicle programme,' a DoS statement said.

'Cooperation possibilities in future space science missions, utilising ISRO's PS4-orbital platform (PS4-OP) space weather studies etc. were discussed', the official statement said.

PS4-OP refers to a novel idea formulated byISROto use the spentPS4stage (fourth stage of PSLV) to carry out in- orbit scientific experiments for an extended duration of one to six months.

Sivan also had a virtual meeting with Head of Australian Space Agency, Enrico Palermo, on February 17.

'Both leaders have also reviewed the status of on-going cooperation activities in earth observation, satellite navigation, space situational awareness and establishment of transportable terminal in Australia to support Indias 'Gaganyaan' programme', ISRO had said at the time.

According to ISRO, India has always recognised that space has dimension beyond national considerations, which can only be addressed along with international partners. PTI RS ROH ROH