After Chandrayaan-3, ISRO eyes Chandrayaan-4 mission

After Chandrayaan-3, ISRO eyes Chandrayaan-4 mission

In many ways, the Chandrayaan-3 marked the beginning of what's to come.

Chandrayaan-3's successful soft-landing made India the first country to reach the lunar south pole region on August 23, 2023. Even as the mission's Vikram lander and Pragyan continue their experiments on the lunar soil, India is preparing to launch its fourth Moon mission in the near-future.

Building on Chandrayaan-3's success

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will collaborate on the Chandrayaan-4 mission that is expected to launch sometime in 2026. The mission is called the Lunar Polar Exploration Mission (Lupex) and is also being referred to as Chandrayaan-4.

The mission will build on the achievements of Chandrayaan-3 that is currently probing the lunar soil. Various lander payloads are probing the temperature, thermal conductivity, and seismicity around the landing site. At the same time, rover payloads are attempting to understand the elemental composition near the landing site.

After Chandrayaan-3, ISRO eyes Chandrayaan-4 mission
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In many ways, the Chandrayaan-3 marked the beginning of what's to come. With Chandrayaan-4, ISRO and JAXA will probe the lunar surface for signs of water that was earlier spotted by ISRO's Chandrayaan-1 mission based on observational data.

Why Chandrayaan-4 will study water on Moon

Water is a key factor for humans to survive anywhere. Lupex or Chandrayaan-4 will assess the lunar polar region for the presence and potential usability to water. The mission will attempt to determine the quantity and quality of lunar water resources, India Today reported.

Chandrayaan-4 will study the actual quantity of water present on the Moon through observational data, in-situ experiments, and "ground truth data." Based on this, it may be decided how much water future colonies might need to carry from Earth and how much can be sourced locally from the Moon.

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