Japan’s Moon Lander -SLIM Wakes Up Unexpectedly After Lunar Night

Japan's Moon Lander -SLIM Wakes Up Unexpectedly After Lunar Night
Japan's Moon Lander -SLIM Wakes Up Unexpectedly After Lunar Night
Japan's Moon Lander -SLIM Wakes Up Unexpectedly After Lunar Night
Japan's Moon Lander -SLIM Wakes Up Unexpectedly After Lunar Night

Japan’s Moon Lander -SLIM Wakes Up Unexpectedly After Lunar Night

Japan’s Moon Lander – SLIM Wakes Up Unexpectedly After Lunar Night

Japan’s Moon Lander – SLIM Wakes Up Unexpectedly After Lunar Night

Japan’s Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM), a moon lander, has surprised scientists by reactivating after a two-week lunar night. Despite touching down at an angle that left its solar panels facing the wrong way, SLIM reawakened as the sun’s angle shifted, allowing it to carry out scientific observations with a high-spec camera. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) had been uncertain if SLIM, not designed for harsh lunar nights, would wake up again.

Yesterday, JAXA sent a command, and SLIM responded, successfully surviving a night on the Moon’s surface while maintaining communication. Communication was terminated due to high temperatures, but preparations are underway to resume operations once instrument temperatures have sufficiently cooled.

SLIM’s Precision Landing and Challenges

Dubbed the “Moon Sniper” for its precision landing technology, SLIM achieved a “soft landing” on the Moon on January 20, making Japan the fifth nation to accomplish this feat. Despite engine problems during descent, SLIM landed within its target zone, but the craft ended up on its side, altering the orientation of its solar panels.

This unexpected reactivation adds to the success of Japan’s space program, following recent failures. SLIM’s scientific observations and the resilience shown during the lunar night contribute valuable data to lunar exploration efforts.

Global Lunar Exploration Efforts

Various countries, including Russia, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates, are actively pursuing lunar exploration missions. The recent successful blast-off of Japan’s new flagship H3 rocket and the landing of the American Odysseus lander near the lunar south pole underscore the growing interest and achievements in lunar exploration.

While SLIM’s orientation challenges present obstacles, the unexpected resilience displayed during the lunar night provides valuable insights for future moon missions. Japan’s space program continues to make significant strides in space exploration and technology.

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