Japan’s moon lander wakes up (2) infographic
Graphic shows Japan’s “moon sniper” mission
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SPACE

Japan’s moon lander Slim resumes mission

By Jordi Bou

January 29, 2024 - Japan’s SLIM spacecraft has resumed operations after being shut for nine days due to a power supply issue. The probe’s touchdown made Japan the fifth country to put a spacecraft on the moon.

On January 20, SLIM touched down within 55m of its target point, outstripping conventional accuracy of several kilometres for lunar landers.

However, the probe tumbled down a crater slope during its landing, leaving its solar batteries facing in the wrong direction and unable to generate electricity.

Nine days later, thanks to a change in the sunlight’s direction, SLIM has started to generate power.

The mission’s landing technology could allow future exploration of hilly Moon poles seen as a potential sources of fuel, water and oxygen, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said.

Sources
PUBLISHED: 29/01/2024; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: JAXA
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