Japan’s SLIM Moon Lander Resumes Operations After Power Struggle

Japan's SLIM Moon Lander Resumes Operations After Power Struggle

Japan’s Moon lander, the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM), has rekindled its mission after a tumultuous week without power. On January 28, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) successfully re-established communication with SLIM Moon Lander (confirmed by X post on January 29), which had been dormant since its landing on January 20.

SLIM’s touchdown, although precise, encountered challenges as it landed roughly 55 meters away from its intended target. One of its engines likely lost thrust just 50 meters above the lunar surface, causing the lander to tilt and disrupting its solar power generation. However, the resilient probe survived on battery power for almost three hours before JAXA strategically shut it down to conserve energy.

The lander gradually recharged as the lunar landscape shifted, allowing sunlight to reach SLIM Moon Lander’s solar panels. Its revival showcases its technological robustness, allowing it to resume operations and capture images of the Moon’s surface using its multi-band camera. The images depict rocks named after different dog breeds, which scientists will study to analyze the presence of olivine and gain insights into the origins of the Moon.

Jonathan McDowell, from the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, highlights SLIM’s successful pinpoint landing as a significant achievement despite the challenges faced. He notes that SLIM’s experience provides valuable insights for future lunar missions, particularly propulsion system design.

JAXA plans to continue SLIM Moon Lander’s operations until the end of January, leveraging its newfound energy to gather more data about the Moon’s chemical composition and endurance in lunar conditions. The success of SLIM’s mission underscores the potential for future lunar exploration endeavors, leveraging lessons learned from its pioneering journey.

Moving forward, JAXA aims to leverage the success of SLIM’s pinpoint landing for upcoming lunar exploration missions, further advancing our understanding of Earth’s celestial neighbor.

TechGolly editorial team led by Al Mahmud Al Mamun. He worked as an Editor-in-Chief at a world-leading professional research Magazine. Rasel Hossain and Enamul Kabir are supporting as Managing Editor. Our team is intercorporate with technologists, researchers, and technology writers. We have substantial knowledge and background in Information Technology (IT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Embedded Technology.

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