IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


25th October, 2023 Science and Technology

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Picture Courtesy:  telugu.news18.com

Context: The LUPEX Mission (Chandrayaan-4), collaboration between India and Japan, is focused on the crucial objective of searching for water in the lunar south pole, potentially providing a valuable resource for future human lunar missions and deep space exploration.

About LUPEX Mission (Chandrayaan-4)

Collaborative Mission

The Lunar Polar Exploration Mission (LUPEX), also known as Chandrayaan-4, is a joint lunar exploration endeavour involving two space agencies: the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

Collaborative missions like this leverage the strengths and resources of multiple nations to achieve common goals in space exploration.

Scheduled Timeline

The mission is planned to take place in 2026 or later, indicating that it is in the advanced planning and development stage.

Mission Objectives

The primary objective of the mission is to explore the presence of water in the lunar South Pole region. The lunar South Pole is of particular interest because it's believed to contain water ice in permanently shadowed areas.

Water resources on the Moon are valuable for supporting future lunar activities and possible human missions.

Roles of ISRO and JAXA

ISRO is responsible for providing the lander, the spacecraft designed to safely land on the Moon. On the other hand, JAXA is expected to contribute the H3 launch vehicle, used to launch the mission into space, and the rover, which will explore the lunar surface.

Complexity of Mission

LUPEX will have to navigate the challenge of exploring the permanently shaded polar regions of the Moon, where temperatures are extremely low and conditions are challenging due to the lack of direct sunlight.

Long-term Station Potential

The mission may also investigate the possibility of establishing a long-term station or base on the Moon. Such a lunar outpost could serve as a stepping stone for future deep space exploration, including missions to Mars.

Chandrayaan-3 Mission and Vikram Lander

  • Chandrayaan-3 is a predecessor mission to Chandrayaan-4. The mission involves sending a lunar lander and rover to the Moon.
  • The ISRO Chairman provided an update on the Vikram lander from Chandrayaan-3. Vikram was designed to land on the Moon but faced communication issues during its descent in September 2019, and contact with it was lost.
    • Despite ongoing efforts by ISRO to reestablish communication with Vikram, it appears unlikely that the lander will be reawakened. This indicates that the lander is non-responsive and may not be operational.
  • Before its communication was lost, Vikram had successfully executed its tasks during the lunar day, which is equivalent to approximately 14 Earth days on the Moon. This suggests that it performed its intended functions during its active period on the lunar surface.


  • The LUPEX mission (Chandrayaan-4) is a joint lunar exploration mission with the objectives of exploring water resources at the lunar South Pole and assessing the potential for establishing a lunar station.

Must Read Articles:

Chandrayaan 3: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/chandrayaan-3-makes-soft-landing


Q. What were the primary scientific goals of the Chandrayaan missions, and how have they advanced our understanding of the Moon's geology, water resources, and potential for human exploration?