Japan confirmed the landing of the module on the moon – 55 meters from the target

Japan confirmed the landing of the module on the moon – 55 meters from the target

The Japanese unmanned spacecraft Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM), nicknamed the “Lunar Sniper” for its precision landing technology, landed on the surface of the Moon on January 22 approximately 55 meters from the target. This was reported by the Japanese Space Agency.

However, after receiving the first pictures, the agency clarified that the module buried its nose in the ground during landing. The image was obtained thanks to the small robot Sora-Q, the size of a baseball, which was thrown from the module a few moments before it landed on the moon to record the event.

The SLIM module itself is put into sleep mode in just three hours after listening to preserve the charge in the batteries. Japanese scientists hope that the mission can still be saved if the lighting angle changes and sunlight begins to fall on the energy-generating panels.

SLIM is a light space module the size of a passenger car. This is the result of two decades of work by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on the technology of targeted landing with a deviation from a set point of no more than 100 meters. Previously, zones about 10 kilometers wide were used for landing space modules.

The Lunar Sniper was launched on a Mitsubishi Heavy H2A rocket in September 2023. On December 25, he entered the lunar orbit. The launch device is equipped with a spherical probe developed together with a toy company.

The Japanese Aerospace Research Agency notes that the task of landing the module within a radius of 100 meters from the intended landing point has been accomplished.

The landing of SLIM, which happened in any case, brings Japan to the top five countries that have achieved a soft landing of their devices on the Moon, along with the USA, the former USSR, China and India.

Tokyo hopes that success will help restore confidence in Japanese space technology after a series of failures. In April, a spacecraft developed by a Japanese company crashed while trying to land on the moon, and the new flagship rocket failed its debut launch in March.

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