Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Japan Becomes the Fifth Country to Land on the Moon

Japan has made history by landing its spacecraft, called the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM), on the moon’s surface. This achievement makes Japan the fifth country ever to do so. The landing happened early on a Saturday, as reported by mission officials.

Although mission control initially shared news of the landing, there’s still some uncertainty about whether it can be called a complete success. More analysis is required to confirm if the spacecraft landed exactly as planned. Additionally, there are concerns about the power supply, especially the solar power panels.

Hitoshi Kuninaka, who leads the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, mentioned that they believe rovers were sent out, and data transmission to Earth is ongoing. However, the lander might be facing challenges with its solar power panels, currently relying on batteries.

Even with these uncertainties, Kuninaka is optimistic, stating that the mission has achieved, at the very least, a “minimum” level of success. This successful mission puts Japan in a special group of countries, including the United States, the Soviet Union, China, and India, that have managed to reach and explore the moon.

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