Japan Regains Control of Spacecraft Following Moon Landing

A spacecraft from Japan has returned to power and is carrying out its mission after making a moon landing earlier this month, according to the space agency. On Monday, representatives of the Japan Exploration Agency (JAXA) announced that they had been able to successfully reconnect with the SLIM moon probe. On January 20, SLIM landed on the moon. However, the spacecraft made an upside-down landing. Its solar apparatus was blind to the sun. According to JAXA, SLIM was probably able to recoup power as a result of a shift in the sun’s direction. Using the spacecraft’s battery power, JAXA collected as much information as it could on the landing and the surroundings after it landed.

 

According to mission officials, the explorer touched down close to its goal, precisely 55 meters from the lunar equator. It also touched down in a region of volcanic rock, sandwiched between two craters. According to JAXA, these outcomes showed advancements in “pinpoint” landing technology. Previously, lunar missions have often targeted regions that are at least 10 kilometers in width. However, future spacecraft that visit the moon and other locations are anticipated to be supported in part by the capacity to land on extremely precise targets. The mission’s primary goal was to investigate the viability of spacecraft landing on extremely precise targets. However, SLIM has also released two tiny explorers and is taking pictures.

 

The precise date that SLIM will cease operations on the moon has not been announced by JAXA. However, the NASA has already stated that the lander was not intended to last a night on the moon. On Thursday, the next lunar night starts. After the US, the Soviet Union, China, and India, Japan became the fifth nation in history to land on the moon as a result of the mission.

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