The global pandemic, Coronavirus, has affected many sectors, including space launches. Fortunately, Japan and India are now ready to resume launch activities. For instance, India prepares to launch the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C49 (PSLV C49) in early November. According to a statement by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) chairman, K. Sivan. Sivan spoke about the same on October 12. It was a panel comprising of Heads of Agencies at the International Astronautical Congress.
The launch’s schedule was late 2019, but that had to change because of the pandemic. It will be the first one for the country this year and will occur at the Satish Dhawan Space Center. The launch will lift off the RISAT-2BR2 radar imaging satellite, which weighs 615 kg, into a low Earth orbit.
Aboard will be satellites by Spire Global and Kleos Space. The former will be launching several Lemur 2 satellites that day. On the other hand, Kleos Space will send to space four satellites designed to carry out radio-frequency mapping. These satellites will be on board due to the rideshare agreement.
India’s first crewed mission, which is a part of the Guganyaan project, will also delay. According to ISRO, a suitable schedule is August 2022, as India will be celebrating the 75th year since gaining its independence.
On the other hand, Japan is also planning to resume. The last launch was in July when it launched the United Arab Emirates’ Hope Mars mission. According to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the Japanese Data Relay Satellite-1 (JDRS-1) will launch in late November. The venue and the launch vehicle will be Tenegashima Space Center and H-IIA, respectively. The schedule is not final, but the progress is incredible.
The JDRS satellite is a collaboration of the Government of Japan and JAXA. The latter’s role is to work on optical data relay. During the IAC’s plenary session attended by seven heads of agencies, JAXA’s president Hiroshi Yamakawa highlighted various exploration missions that the agency is currently working on. He pointed out that come 2022, JAXA will launch SLIM, the Smart Lunar Lander.
According to JAXA and ISRO, the two countries are still planning to develop a polar lunar mission jointly. They hope that they will have sent a rover and a lander to the lunar South Pole by 2022. The main objective of the Luna Polar Exploration will be a search for water ice.
At around that time, JAXA will be planning to launch the Martian Moon eXploration (MMX), a planetary exploration mission. It will collect samples from Phobos Moon on Mars, which will be a first. The technology used to return the primary sample is the same as the one for the Hayabusa2 mission whole return capsule will land on Earth on December 6.