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Japan Moon Landing: What Happened?

On January 19, 2024, Japan landed its moon lander SLIM (Smart Lander for Investigating the Moon) making it the 5th country in history to land on the moon. 

Being launched on September 7, it spent four months on a journey to the moon. This landing is a big step forward in space travel as you will learn through this article.

As I said before on January 19, 2024, Japan's space agency JAXA landed SLIM on the moon. Everybody was celebrating but then JAXA realised that SLIM wasn’t making its own energy. The battery was draining so JAXA decided to prioritize getting landing data. 

And on January 22 JAXA said they had shut the lander on January 20 off just three hours after it landed with the battery at twelve percent power.

Three days later, on January 25 JAXA got its first photos of the moon lander which were sent to Earth by two robots that were ejected from SLIM before landing. The picture showed that SLIM had rotated 90 degrees from the position it was supposed to land in and landed on its nose, preventing it from using its solar panels. Using the image JAXA speculated that SLIM could be reawakened when the angle of light on the moon changed.

On Sunday the 28th of January slim managed to reawaken when the angles of light on the moon changed. SLIM got back to work which was to analyze minerals in lunar rocks using a special camera. While things were uncertain this mission seems to have been successful considering that only half of attempts to land on the moon succeed. This is a big step forward because it managed to get within 100 meters from the target location (at least from the data). That could mean more accurate moon landings in the future as more and more countries attempt to land on the moon.

See more stories from #Ryotaro 

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What happened was really unfortunate. But at the same time, they are learning more.

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