The Japanese lunar probe succeeded in landing but got stuck

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The Japanese probe on the moon’s surface has succeeded in carrying out its difficult mission. A “precise” landing on the moon’s surfaceBut a newly released image revealed that the spacecraft flipped over in the process, officials from the country’s space agency announced on Thursday.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, known as JAXA, confirmed that the mission achieved its goal of landing accurately within 100 meters (328 feet) of its target, a feat that could expand the number of potential landing sites for future missions to the moon.

With the successful landing of the SLIM (short for Smart Lander for Lunar Investigation) lander, Japan became the fifth country in history to achieve a controlled or “soft” landing on the Moon. Only the United States, the former Soviet Union, China and India can boast of such an achievement.

The SLIM mission represents another giant leap forward in lunar exploration.

A wheeled vehicle launched before the SLIM landing Take a photo showing the probe upside downunder On the moon. As such, the lander’s solar panels are not at a suitable angle to harness sunlight and power the probe, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

The agency said there is still a chance that the probe will be able to recover and generate power as sunlight changes in the coming days.

“Although SLIM activities on the Moon were originally expected to last only a few days, preparations for recovery will continue in order to obtain more technical and scientific data.” JAXA officials said in a statement.

Space probes typically aim for landing sites that are at least several miles across, but the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said achieving precision landings opens up new opportunities.

“We have proven that you can land wherever you want, not wherever you are able to,” said Shinichiro Sakai, SLIM lander project manager. According to Reuters.

Sakai added that the mission “will inspire more and more people, and preferably Japanese missions, to try to land in unexplored places on the moon.”

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency on Thursday discussed the results of the lunar landing, revealing new details about how the loss of one of the probe’s two main engines during the final descent caused it to land more forcefully than expected. The glitch also likely caused the lander to become lodged about 55 meters (180 feet) east of the target landing site, mission managers said.

Had both engines worked as expected, the spacecraft could have made a more precise landing, landing 10 meters (33 feet) or less from its target, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

The SLIM mission launched on September 6 and entered lunar orbit several months later. The lander’s main purpose was to demonstrate a highly precise navigation and landing system, but it also deployed small vehicles to conduct temperature and radiation experiments, among other scientific goals.

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