Japanese spacecraft lands on moon, but solar cell not generating power: JAXA - Hindustan Times
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Japanese spacecraft lands on moon, but solar cell not generating power: JAXA

Jan 19, 2024 11:01 PM IST

SLIM is now operating only on its battery, and we are prioritising the transfer of its data onto earth: Head of JAXA's space lab

Japan's Moon Sniper spacecraft has smoothly landed on the moon and the connection was established with the ground station. However, an issue has arisen as the solar cells are not generating power, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: H-IIA rocket carrying the national space agency's moon lander is launched at Tanegashima Space Center on the southwestern island of Tanegashima, Japan in this photo taken by Kyodo on September 7, 2023.(via REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: H-IIA rocket carrying the national space agency's moon lander is launched at Tanegashima Space Center on the southwestern island of Tanegashima, Japan in this photo taken by Kyodo on September 7, 2023.(via REUTERS)

The JAXA attempted the landing of the lander dubbed "Moon Sniper" within 100 meters of the target. The Smart Lander for Investigating Moon, or SLIM, descended onto the lunar surface around 8:50 pm. The connection with the ground station was re-established communication, but its solar panels were not able to generate electricity.

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"SLIM is now operating only on its battery, and we are prioritising the transfer of its data onto earth", Hitoshi Kuninaka, the head of JAXA's space lab, told a press conference.

Launched atop the H-IIA rocket in September from the southern island of Tanegashima, the probe aims to achieve a successful “pinpoint” touchdown. If successful, Japan would become the fifth country, after the United States, Russia, China, and India, to have successfully landed a probe on the Moon.

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What is the aim of the SLIM lander?

The SLIM lander, equipped with compact lunar probes, aims to achieve precise landing, referred to as the 'Moon Sniper' in Japanese. With lightweight equipment designed for advanced observations and adaptable landings on resource-scarce planets, it signifies a significant advancement in exploration strategies.

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The Japanese space agency, JAXA, states that the critical objective is to demonstrate landing accuracy within 100 meters, notably in the designated 4 km x 2.4 km landing area for Chandrayaan-3.

JAXA asserts that the development of the SLIM lander marks a qualitative shift, enabling humans to land precisely where intended, challenging the previous norm of choosing easier landing spots.

This is a developing country. Please get back to check for updates.

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