Japan and India have decided to join forces in the race to discover water on the moon, with the two countries planning to try to land an unmanned rover on the moon’s south pole as early as fiscal 2023.
Frozen water is believed to exist inside craters and other areas of the moon’s poles where sunlight does not reach. The countries plan to use the rover to excavate in such areas and discover water on the moon for the first time. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) have already held meetings on the project.
Japan will be in charge of launching the rocket and developing a lunar rover, while India will develop a lander for the mission. The rover will explore an area 500 meters square to try to detect water using onboard analysis equipment.