Japan's moon lander unexpectedly survives freezing lunar night - Hindustan Times
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Japan's moon lander unexpectedly survives freezing lunar night

Reuters |
Feb 26, 2024 02:05 PM IST

Japan's lander re-established communication with the Earth more than a month after it made a touchdown on the moon.

Japan's space agency said on Monday its SLIM moon lander has unexpectedly survived a freezing lunar night and re-established communication with the earth, more than a month after the spacecraft made a historic "pinpoint" touchdown on the moon.

This handout photo shows the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) mission, after landing on the Moon on January 20. (AFP)
This handout photo shows the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) mission, after landing on the Moon on January 20. (AFP)

READ | Lunar night puts Japan's lander back to sleep

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The Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) touched down on the lunar surface last month, making Japan the fifth country to put a probe on the moon. U.S.-based Intuitive Machines' Odysseus followed suit last week, as countries and businesses race for the moon in search of resources and human habitability.

Shortly after landing within 55 m (180 ft) of its target just south of the moon's equator, SLIM ran out of power because it had tipped over and its solar panels were at the wrong angle.

READ | Japan’s Moon lander SLIM powers up on lunar surface, captures image of ‘toy poodle’

Its solar panels regained electricity more than a week later thanks to change in the sunlight's direction. The operator Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency had previously said the probe was not designed to survive a lunar night.

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