“Moon Sniper”: First images of Japanese space module after its successful lunar landing, 55m from its target.

The small Japanese spacecraft SLIM, which landed on the moon last Saturday, did so about 55 meters from its target. This is a very high level of accuracy, the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) announced on Thursday. The machine is also known as the “Moon Sniper” for its ability to land with precision.

The objective of landing the machine within a radius of 100 meters from the target point, compared to the usual several kilometers for lunar missions, has thus been achieved. JAXA also released the first images of the lunar landing this Thursday, representing an unprecedented feat for Japan.

This monochrome image was taken with one of the devices sent to the Moon with the module.


This other photo shows the moon rocks with the nicknames given to them.


With this mission, Japan became the fifth country in the world to successfully land on Earth’s natural satellite after the United States, USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), China and India.

Restarting Solar Panels?

But the Japanese prowess is accompanied by serious losses. SLIM (Smart Lander for Investigating Moon) encountered problems with its solar panels. This forced Jaxa to shut down its power supply less than three hours after the moon landing to conserve its batteries for a possible restart later.

Jaxa believes that SLIM’s solar panels will work again when the angle of the sun changes at the lunar landing site. SLIM is located in a small crater of less than 300 meters in diameter, called Shioli, and was normally able to land its two mini-rovers, which are supposed to analyze rocks from the Moon’s inner structure (lunar mantle). Again very poorly known.

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