Moon landing Slim survives and continues his quest-Japan

Moon landing Slim survives and continues his quest-Japan

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Moon landing Slim survives and continues his quest-Japan

Artwork: Jaxa has become the fifth national space agency to land on the Moon. Image: JAXA


Moon landing Slim survives and continues his quest-Japan.

The Moon lander from Japan has started up again after being offline for a week because of a problem with the power supply.

After fixing the fault, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said that it had made contact with the lander again on Sunday night. According to the agency, a change in lighting circumstances caused it to receive sunlight again, causing its solar cells to function.

Because the solar cells were pointing away from the Sun when it landed on January 20, it was unable to produce any electricity.

Japan became just the fifth nation after the US, the former Soviet Union, China, and India to accomplish a soft landing on the moon using the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (Slim) spacecraft.

Authorities chose to switch off the spacecraft after it had been operating on battery power for several hours, in order to allow for the possibility of electrical recovery when the angle of sunlight changed.

Jaxa published a picture of a nearby rock that Slim had taken and dubbed a “toy poodle” on X, the former Twitter platform.

According to Jaxa, the lander will examine the makeup of rocks in an effort to uncover information regarding the moon’s formation.

Slim touched down 55 metres (180 feet) from its objective near the edge of the Shioli equatorial crater.

The “unprecedented pinpoint landing” was how Jaxa put it. According to the organisation, the landing technology may enable more research into the hilly Moon poles, which are thought to be potential supplies of oxygen, water, and fuel.

The Slim mission was launched after multiple previous Japanese attempts had failed, including one by the startup company iSpace, whose lunar lander crashed due to an error in its onboard computer’s calculation of its altitude above the Moon.

Jaxa was unable to confirm when Slim will be operating on the moon right away. It has previously said that the lander was not intended to withstand a night on the moon.

A lunar night is around 14 days during which the Moon’s surface is shielded from the Sun. Landing on the moon has proven to be quite difficult statistically.

Of all the attempts, just around half have been successful. India was the most recent country to enter the exclusive group of nations that have accomplished this, before Japan.

In August 2023, the Chandrayaan-3 rover made landfall close to the lunar south pole, a region of the moon’s surface that has never been visited by humans.

A US spacecraft that was launched by a private operator earlier this month burned up in the Pacific on its lunar mission.

Russia’s first lunar probe in decades crashed onto the Moon in August of last year after spinning out of control.

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