Japanese moon lander SLIM survives third lunar night

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Survival of the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM)

The Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) has accomplished a remarkable feat by surviving its third week-long night on the moon, defying extreme temperatures plunging to as low as minus 274 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 170 degrees Celsius). Although the Japanese lunar lander was not originally built to endure such harsh conditions, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) announced that SLIM had successfully navigated its way through the challenging lunar night, withstanding the frigid environment.

Resilience and Reemergence

On April 23, JAXA shared an image taken by SLIM as it emerged from its third lunar night. The tweet translated from Japanese highlighted the lander’s survival, stating, “Last night (the night of April 23rd), we were able to successfully communicate with SLIM, which had started up again, and confirmed that SLIM had survived for the third time.”

Despite facing an initial setback upon landing on January 19, 2024, when it tipped forward and disrupted its solar panel orientation, SLIM has defied the odds by maintaining its critical functions on the moon. This unexpected resilience has been demonstrated repeatedly, with SLIM successfully completing its first lunar night from January 31 to February 15, and subsequent nights on February 29 and in mid-March.

Continuous Monitoring and Data Collection

JAXA emphasized the importance of closely monitoring SLIM’s condition to identify any potential areas of deterioration based on the lunar day and night environment. The agency aims to leverage the data collected by SLIM to enhance our understanding of lunar geology and landing technology, paving the way for future space exploration missions.

Furthermore, independent researchers like Chandra Tungathurthi have been instrumental in leveraging existing resources like the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter to support missions like SLIM. Tungathurthi’s contributions, including capturing images of SLIM’s lunar surface activities, highlight the collaborative nature of scientific exploration and discovery.

In conclusion, the persistence and adaptability displayed by SLIM underscore the significance of pushing the boundaries of space exploration technology and capabilities. As we continue to unravel the mysteries of the moon and beyond, endeavors like SLIM serve as beacons of human ingenuity and curiosity in the vast expanse of space.

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Chris Jones

Hey there! 👋 I'm Chris, 34 yo from Toronto (CA), I'm a journalist with a PhD in journalism and mass communication. For 5 years, I worked for some local publications as an envoy and reporter. Today, I work as 'content publisher' for InformOverload. 📰🌐 Passionate about global news, I cover a wide range of topics including technology, business, healthcare, sports, finance, and more. If you want to know more or interact with me, visit my social channels, or send me a message.
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