Japan’s Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) faced a devastating setback as it landed upside down on the lunar surface. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) revealed that an abnormality in the main engine led to the spacecraft’s unfortunate landing attitude.
Power generation problems further complicated the situation for SLIM. Its solar panels were blocked, causing the shutdown of the spacecraft merely three hours after touchdown. However, a smaller robot known as SORA-Q, which had been ejected before the landing, managed to capture an image that showcased the tragic scene.
Despite the challenges faced by SLIM, Japan successfully became the fifth country to achieve a spacecraft landing on the Moon. JAXA maintains hope for the restoration of the lander and the possibility of power generation if the Moon’s surface receives sunlight.
The image captured by SORA-Q was transmitted back to Earth through another robot called LEV-1, which maintains independent contact with mission control. This achievement of inter-robot communication is considered a significant win for the mission, along with the successful execution of autonomous operations.
JAXA recognizes that the landing and subsequent issues with SLIM were less than ideal. However, the agency remains positive about the overall mission and the advancements made in robotic exploration. The inter-robot communication and autonomous operations accomplished during this mission have opened new doors for future lunar expeditions.
As JAXA works towards resolving the landing-related issues, the agency hopes that SLIM will ultimately fulfill its intended purpose of investigating the Moon. The potential restoration of power generation, coupled with the achievements already made, leaves a glimmer of hope for the successful completion of the mission.
Despite the setback, JAXA’s determination and commitment to lunar exploration remain unwavering. With each mission, Japan continues to push boundaries and contribute to our understanding of the Moon and its potential for future space exploration.
“Social media scholar. Reader. Zombieaholic. Hardcore music maven. Web fanatic. Coffee practitioner. Explorer.”