Japanese SLIM lunar lander is again ‘asleep’, and maybe for good.

Its mission has been equal parts historic and troubled, because while the landing was done with unprecedented level of accuracy – living up to the ‘moon sniper’ nickname – something also went wrong, as we finally discovered that SLIM lander was upside down.

The wrong position meant that the solar cells were not receiving sun light and therefore batteries were rapidly discharging.

Read: Japan’s SLIM Lands on Lunar Surface, but a Problem in the Sun Panels Will Cut the Mission Dramatically Short

Mission control has to turn the spacecraft off, waiting for the sun to move to the west during the lunar day.

But SLIM ‘came back to life’.

Endgaget reported:

“Against all odds, Japan’s SLIM lander managed to turn back on more than a week after it plopped upside down onto the surface of the moon — but now, it’s gone dormant for the duration of the lunar night, and it may not be able to wake up again.”

SLIM’s last captured image of the moon surface before dusk.

The Japanese space agency, JAXA, shared the last image the lander captured at the moon’s Shioli crater.

Lunar night lasts the equivalent of two Earth weeks, and can get colder than -200 degrees Fahrenheit.

“The team has confirmed that the solar powered lander is in a dormant state that will last at least the duration of the lunar night. Its chances of resuming operations afterward aren’t great, but then again, it’s already surprised us once.

‘Although SLIM was not designed for the harsh lunar nights, we plan to try to operate again from mid-February, when the Sun will shine again on SLIM’s solar cells’, the team wrote on X. If this truly is SLIM’s last photo, it sure is a spooky one.”

But even if SLIM never turns on again, it has already written its name in the book of space exploration with its January 20 landing.

Space.com reported:

“Despite a power issue with the lander, the event holds both political and technical importance. It’s Japan’s first lunar landing – making it only the fifth country in the world to successfully land on the moon. This is a significant achievement and solidifies Japan’’ position as a leader in space technology.”

Read: Waiting for the Sun: Solar Cells Face the Wrong Direction, Japanese Slim Lander ‘Put to Sleep’ on the Moon – Sunshine From the West May Salvage Mission

Besides the precise landing, another successful feature of the mission was the deployment of its two small rovers.

“Japan’s achievement isn’t only symbolic – Japan is demonstrating a number of new technologies with the lander. The name, Smart Lander for Investigating the Moon, refers to the spacecraft’s new precision-landing technology.

This technology could assist future landings by allowing spacecraft to land in relatively small areas amid rocky or uneven terrain, rather than having to find large clearings. This ability will be particularly important in the future as countries focus on very specific areas of interest at the lunar south pole.”

Read: OH, NO: Japanese SLIM Lunar Lander Is Upside Down on the Moon Surface!

Lunar Excursion Vehicle 1 includes a camera and scientific equipment, uses a hopping mechanism to maneuver on the moon. Lunar Excursion Vehicle 2 is a sphere small enough to fit in the palm of our hand that rolls around the surface.

“There is a geopolitical element to these activities. China, India and Japan – the three nations that have successfully landed on the moon since 2000 – engage in regional competition across a number of areas, including space. In addition to regional considerations, these accomplishments help to establish nations as leaders on a global scale – capable of something that few nations have ever done.”

Read more:

SLIM IS BACK: Upside Down Japanese Moon Lander Recharged Batteries and Resumed Lunar Mission




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Harmony Evans is an award-winning author of Harlequin Kimani Romance, African-American romance, and so on. Harmony Evans is an award-winning author for Harlequin Kimani Romance, the leading publisher of African-American romance. Her 2nd novel, STEALING KISSES, will be released in November 2013. Harmony is a single mom to a beautiful, too-smart-for-her-own-good daughter, who makes her grateful for life daily. Her hobbies include cooking, baking, knitting, reading, and of course, napping and also review some of the best-selling and popular brands and services in the market and also write comprehensive blogs.

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