Technology

Japanese space module lands on the moon

A miniature model of the Smart Lander for Investigating the Moon (SLIM) is displayed at the premises of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in Sagamihara, south of Tokyo, Japan, on January 19, 2024.
Kim Kyung-hoon / Reuters

The Japanese space agency concluded that this high-precision operation was successful and communications could be established, but “the solar cells do not generate energy,” she explained.

The Japanese space module SLIM successfully landed on the moon overnight Friday to Saturday (Japan time) but its solar cells are not generating power, Japan’s space agency, JAXA, announced. “SLIM landed on the moon at 12:20 am.» On Saturday (Friday 3:20 pm GMT), Jaxa confirmed in a press release, adding that “Communication has been established» From the lunar landing but the module’s solar cells «Do not generate energy

Japanese SLIM Space Module has An attempt to land on the moon with unparalleled precision succeeded during the night of Friday to Saturday, the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) announced. The SLIM module (Smart Lander for Investigating the Moon), which has been orbiting the rocky star since late December, began its descent about twenty minutes earlier at a speed of about 1700 meters per second.

This small unmanned spacecraft (2.4 m long, 1.7 m wide and 2.7 m high) was not only to land on the Moon, but also to land within a radius of 100 m from its target, a radius considered high precision. Hence its nickname “Moon Sniper

“A huge challenge” in precision.

It is common for lunar vehicles to land several kilometers away from their target, which can complicate their exploration missions. And landing on the Moon is more difficult than landing on asteroids — a feat already accomplished by Jaxa — because gravity on the Moon is stronger than on smaller celestial bodies.

The sure landing on the moon is “A huge challenge» For SLIM, Emily Brunsden, director of York University’s Astrocampus, explained to AFP. accuracy ofSniper“structure”A huge technological advance that will make it possible to design missions aimed at answering more specific research questions“But to achieve this achievement is to”Exceptionally technically challenging” “There is usually only one chance, so even the slightest mistake can result in mission failure», she warned.

SLIM was supposed to land in a small crater less than 300 meters in diameter called Shioli, from where the machine should be able to analyze the ground for rocks believed to come from the Moon’s mantle, the inner structure of Earth’s natural satellite. Still very poorly known.

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