The European Space Agency (ESA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) regarding the latter’s joint lunar mission with India. Under the deal, ESA would provide instruments for the Japanese rover, which would be used in the exploration of the Moon’s south pole under the mission targeted for 2024. In a tweet by ESA’s Director-General Josef Aschbacher on April 5, he revealed that the two agencies also agreed on cooperation over cross support in the areas of data acquisition, space navigation, and mission operations. “We have a wonderful history with (JAXA) and it’s always a pleasure for us to work with them”, Aschbacher wrote in his tweet.
ISRO-JAXA’s LUPEX mission
The lunar endeavour between the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and JAXA is called the Lunar Polar Exploration Mission (LUPEX) which aims to launch an Indian lander and a Japanese rover to the Moon. This would be India’s fourth attempt to reach the Moon as the Chandrayaan-3 mission is scheduled to take off in August this year.