Japan’s Moon Lander Continues to Defy Expectations

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Japan's Moon Lander Continues to Defy Expectations
Japan's Moon Lander (Credits: Scientific American)

Earlier this year, Japan made big news by landing a special probe on the Moon. The probe, called Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM), was supposed to land smoothly, but it ended up landing face-first on the Moon’s surface. This wasn’t part of the plan, and experts thought the probe would only last a few days. Surprisingly, it’s still working and sending information back to Earth.

The SLIM probe touched down on the Moon in January. But instead of landing the right way up, it landed with its nose in the lunar dirt and its solar panels facing the wrong direction. Because of this, scientists thought it wouldn’t survive for long, especially with the freezing temperatures and darkness of the lunar night, which lasted about two weeks.

However, the SLIM probe is defying expectations. It’s still alive and sending important data back to Earth. According to Futurism, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) initially worried that the probe wouldn’t be able to generate enough power from its solar cells. But over two months later, they confirmed that it was still working after enduring two harsh lunar nights.

Japan's Moon Lander Continues to Defy Expectations
Japan’s Moon Lander

Amazingly, the SLIM probe is still going strong. JAXA recently announced that they were able to communicate with the probe again after it started up, confirming that it had survived for the third time. The probe has even sent back pictures of its landing site, showing the rugged lunar area. Now, scientists are eager to find out which parts of the probe are still functioning and which ones have been affected by the tough conditions on the Moon.

While the SLIM probe is thriving, another probe on the Moon isn’t doing as well. The Odysseus lander, launched by a U.S.-based space startup called Intuitive Machines, went silent just a week after landing on the Moon’s surface.


By Preksha Sharma

being me means you've got to love cars, coffee and gilmore girls. sorry i don't make the rules.

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