With India successfully completing historic landing of Chandrayaan-3 on the Moon’s south pole and became the only country in the world to do so, all eyes are now on India’s another expedition on moon.
The next most ambitious project for the Indian Space Research Space Organisation will be Chandrayaan-4.
The ISRO and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have planned to jointly launch the Lunar Polar Exploration Mission (Lupex) – being referred as Chandrayaan-4. The mission is scheduled for 2024-25.
Chandrayaan 4 will be sample return mission
“Of course, the Chandrayaan programe will not end with Chandrayaan-3. We have landed now. But there are many more things to do. It is natural to expect follow-up missions Chandrayaan-4, Chandrayaan-5 and so on. Those plans can be expected to be revealed soon,” Mylswamy Annadurai, Mission Director of Chandrayaan-1 was quoted by the Indian Express.
He further informed that Chandrayaan-4 will be the sample return mission whenever it is planned.
“This is the next logical step to a lander and rover mission,” he added.
What is sample return mission?
As per experts, sample return mission involves a spaceraft that can collect samples from the Moon’s surface and return to Earth. A returning spacecraft from the surface of the Moon adds several levels of the complexity to a lander and rover mission.
China successfully did a return mission with Chang’s-5 in 2020.
Aim of Chandrayaan-4?
As per reports, Chandrayaan-4 seeks to find an answer if there is water on the Moon or not. The presence of water on the Moon could open the door for more lunar expeditions and potentially serve as valuable resource for sustaining human presence on our celestial neighbour.
For LUPEX mission (Chandrayaan-4), the launch vehicle and rover are likely to be contributed by the Japanese agency while the lander will be provided from ISRO.