“We are also discussing a possible mission to the Moon with JAXA where the land rover will be built by them and they will launch it using a Japanese rocket,” said Isro chairman S Somanath while delivering a lecture at the 4th Indian Planetary Science Conference in Ahmedabad.
“It is very important that it will happen only when they have confidence in you and our instruments and measurement systems are complementary to their goals,” Somanath said. Though the talk of a tie-up with JAXA for a Moon mission has been in the agency’s pipeline, this is the first time the Isro chairman has openly talked of the joint mission.
On the Chandrayaan-3 mission, the Isro chairman said, “Spacecraft is fully ready and integrated. There is some correction work being done. We are building a lot of confidence in the mission through lots of simulations and tests. Possibly, the launch can take place by the middle of this year.”
“The primary objective of Chandrayaan-3 is going to be a precise landing. For that, a lot of work is being done today, including building new instruments, better algorithms, taking care of the failure modes,” he said.
Regarding the Aditya L1 solar mission, which is also scheduled to be launched by the middle of this year, Somanath said, “This is going to be a very unique solar observation capability that we are building. Instruments for this have already been delivered, and we are in the process of integrating these instruments in the satellite.”