Japan's historic lunar lander SLIM has retired ahead of a possible cold lunar night for the end of the mission — but not before capturing some final images and large amounts of scientific data.
The SLIM system, which stands for “Smart Lander for Investigating Moon,” successfully landed precisely on the rim of the Cheoli volcano. On January 19thDespite engine problems that led to it landing with its nose down. As a result, the spacecraft's solar cells face west and are unable to receive expected levels of sunlight, initially cutting off operations on the lunar surface for a very short period. But Slim is victorious I woke up about 10 days after landingas the sun finally shone on its panels.
Related: The Japanese SLIM lunar lander is photographed on the surface of the Moon – on its nose (photo)
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)JAXAwhich operates SLIM, has spent recent days scanning the lunar near-surface using the spacecraft's Multi-Band Camera (MBC) to learn about its composition.
The MBC is designed to screen olivine and other minerals by analyzing photometric signatures, or spectra of reflected sunlight, According to To the non-profit Planetary Society.
JAXA's SLIM account on X, formerly Twitter, to publish The final image was captured by SLIM's navigation camera on January 31, Japanese time, with the agency confirming that the spacecraft entered a sleep state as expected.
Last night (1/31 ~ 1/2) we sent a command to turn on the #SLIM communicator again just in case, but with no response, we confirmed that SLIM had entered a sleep state. This is the last view of the moon captured by SLIM before dusk. #GoodAfterMoon #JAXA pic.twitter.com/V1iAUoxJFKFebruary 1, 2024
JAXA will need to wait until the approximately 14.5 Earth-day-long lunar night ends, and then wait for favorable lighting and temperature conditions later in the next lunar day (which begins around February 15) before SLIM can be revived again. However, for the probe to wake up again, its electronics must withstand the equatorial lunar night Temperatures About -208°F (-130°C).
But whether SLIM wakes up or not, the spacecraft has achieved its full, extended mission goals by achieving Accurate landingDeploy a pair of small rovers and demonstrate their interoperability, obtaining a wealth of scientific data.
SLIM X account too to publish Labeled images of MBC spectroscopic imaging targets, showing the different rocks and regolith being studied.
He added: “Based on the large amount of data we obtained, we are moving forward with analyzes to identify the rocks and estimate the chemical composition of the minerals, which will help solve the mystery of the origin of the rocks.” the moon“, a Google machine translation of the JAXA report dated February 1 statement is reading.
The statement added: “We will announce the scientific results as soon as we obtain them.”
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