Japan's 'Moon Sniper' Lander SLIM Launched Successfully, Aims to Land on the Moon Next Year

Tags: International News

Japan has successfully launched its lunar exploration spacecraft, known as the "Moon Sniper", using the domestically developed H-IIA rocket.

An Overview of the News

  • The achievement puts Japan in contention to become the world's fifth country to land on the moon, with the landing planned for early next year.

  • The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said the rocket's launch from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan went as scheduled. It also successfully deployed the lunar lander, Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM).

  • Japan's ambitious goal is to land SLIM on the lunar surface within 100 meters of its intended target site. The $100 million mission is expected to reach the moon by February.

  • Notably, the launch follows India's recent achievement of becoming the fourth nation to successfully land a spacecraft on the Moon through its Chandrayaan-3 mission, which specifically aimed to explore the uncharted lunar south pole.

  • This achievement by Japan comes after two previous lunar landing attempts by the country failed within the last year.

Japan's Lunar Landing Challenges: Loss of Contact, Lunar Lander Accident, and Collaborative Satellite Mission:

  • In November, JAXA suffered a setback when they lost contact with the OMOTENASHI lander, leading to the cancellation of their lunar landing attempt.

  • In April, the Hakuto-R Mission 1 lander, developed by a Japanese startup called iSpace, crashed while landing on the lunar surface.

  • Additionally, the H-IIA rocket was tasked with carrying the X-ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission (XRISM) satellite. The satellite is part of a collaborative effort by JAXA, NASA, and the European Space Agency.

About JAXA

Founded -1 October 2003

President - Yamakawa Hiroshi;

Headquarters - Chōfu, Tokyo, Japan.

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