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    India to Launch Another Lunar Probe to 'Dark Side of Moon' in Early 2020s With Japan

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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Despite the recent failure of its Chandrayaan-2 mission, the Indian space agency is set to make another attempt at the moon, this time in collaboration with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

    The Japanese embassy in New Delhi confirmed on Monday said the two country's space agencies will launch a lunar probe in the early 2020s.

    "JAXA and ISRO are planning a Japan-India joint lunar polar exploration that will be launched in early 2020s", the embassy said in a statement issued on the Vikram Lander that has been finally located on the Moon's surface just a day after ISRO lost contact with it.

    While applauding the Indian space agency ISRO and its scientists for their efforts with the Chandrayaan-2, the Japanese embassy said: "We are confident India will continue its contributions to lunar exploration along which Japan proudly walks."

    A rover is most likely to be landed at the South Pole of the moon by 2023 in order to excavate the dark side of the moon in a bid to discover water beneath the lunar surface.

    Under the plan, which has already been approved by the Japanese government, Tokyo will be responsible for launching the rocket and developing a lunar rover, while India will develop a lander for the mission.

    In March this year, officials from the two countries discussed the plan during the inaugural India-Japan Space Dialogue in New Delhi.

    On 7 September, ISRO suffered a setback when space centre lost communication with its lander just 2.5 km before touching down on the moon.

    The agency, which is trying to re-establish contact with the module, said the Vikram Lander is in one piece but is tilted to one side.

    “It probably hard-landed on the lunar surface as per the thermal images sent by the on-board camera of Chandrayaan’s orbiter,” Indian news agency PTI quoted an ISRO official as saying.

    Evidence for sub-surface water (tens of metres deep) emerged from the synthetic aperture radars deployed on lunar missions, including those on Chandrayaan-1 and NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

    In August 2018, NASA scientists, using data from the Chadrayaan-1 (India's first lunar mission), confirmed frozen water deposits in the darkest and coldest parts of the moon's polar regions.

    Related:

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    Chinese Lunar Rover Discovers Mysterious 'Gel-Like’ Substance on Dark Side of the Moon - Report
    Shoot the Moon: ISRO Locates Vikram Lander on Lunar Surface Day After Failed Touchdown
    Tags:
    Chandrayaan-2, moon mission, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Japan, JAXA, India
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