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JAXA’s Moon lander in Japan experiences another period of dormancy

New Delhi, April 1 (IANS) Japan’s Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) has successfully survived two lunar nights but has now gone dormant, according to the country’s space agency JAXA. SLIM, also known as “Moon Sniper” in Japanese, landed on the lunar surface on January 20, achieving a precise landing but upside-down.

Despite landing upside-down, SLIM managed to survive the harsh lunar nights where temperatures drop to as low as -130 degrees Celsius. JAXA expressed concerns about the lander freezing without generating power due to its solar panels not facing the sun.

Weighing 200 kilograms, SLIM experienced some malfunctions with temperature sensors and unused battery cells, but it managed to transmit new images back to Earth. It completed its second overnight operation successfully before going dormant, as announced by JAXA on Monday.

JAXA stated, “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.” MBC refers to the multi-band camera used for examining lunar rocks.

Japan now joins the ranks of nations, including Russia, the US, China, and India, to accomplish a soft landing on the lunar surface. Despite facing challenges, SLIM’s mission showcases Japan’s technological prowess in space exploration.

IANS

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