Japan's Moon lander goes dormant again: JAXA

New Delhi, April 1 (IANS) After surviving two recent lunar nights, Japan’s Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) has now gone dormant, the country’s space agency JAXA said on Monday.

SLIM, also known as “Moon Sniper” in Japanese, touched down on the lunar surface on January 20.

While SLIM achieved a pinpoint landing within 100 metres of the target, as planned, it, however, landed upside-down. With its solar panels not facing the sun, the lander cannot generate power.

Mission officials were worried about the lander freezing, and not able to withstand the harsh lunar nights, where temperatures fall as low as -130 degrees Celsius.

The unmanned lander weighing 200 kilograms survived the winter, although “some temperature sensors and unused battery cells are starting to malfunction”, JAXA said. It also transmitted new images back to Earth.

The lander has successfully aced its second overnight operation and has been put to sleep, JAXA said.

“SLIM completed its second overnight operation in the early hours of March 30th, and went dormant again,” JAXA said in a post on X on Monday.

“During this operation, we mainly checked the status of several devices by turning on switches and applying loads. Although there are some malfunctions in some functions of MBC, it still works, so we are carefully checking its status,” it added. MBC is the multi-band camera used to examine lunar rocks.

Japan is the fifth nation to complete a soft landing on the lunar surface, after Russia, the US, China and India.



Back to top button