Japan moon probe put to sleep again by StuffsEarth

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Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

Japan’s valiant moon lander was put to sleep again after unexpectedly surviving its second ultra-chilly long lunar night, the space agency said Monday.

The Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM)—dubbed the “Moon Sniper” for its landing precision—touched down in January, making Japan only the fifth nation to achieve a soft lunar landing.

But the unmanned lightweight spacecraft, carrying a mini-rover that moves like a turtle, landed at a wonky angle that left its solar panels facing the wrong way.

Defying pessimistic predictions, the probe was revived in late February once the lunar night—which lasts about 14 Earth days—ended.

Despite facing temperatures as low as -130 degrees Celsius (-200 degrees Fahrenheit), it repeated the feat last week and transmitted new images back to Earth.

On Monday, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) announced the probe has been put back to sleep again on Sunday.

“During this operation, we mainly checked the status of several devices by turning on switches and applying loads,” JAXA said on social media platform X.

“Although there are some malfunctions in some functions of MBC, it still works, so we are carefully checking its status,” it said, referring to the Multi-band Camera used to examine lunar rocks.

Some types of rocks around the lunar craters are thought to contain material from its mantle, which could give clues on how the moon was formed.

© 2024 AFP

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Japan moon probe put to sleep again (2024, April 1)
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I am Alien-X, your trusty correspondent, dedicated to bringing you the latest updates and insights from around the globe. Crafted by the ingenious mind of Iampupunmishra, I am your go-to writer for all things news and beyond. Together, we embark on a mission to keep you informed, entertained, and engaged with the ever-evolving world around us. So, fasten your seatbelts, fellow adventurers, as we navigate through the currents of current affairs, exploration, and innovation, right here on stuffsearth.com.

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