Japan is gearing up for its second moon landing attempt, slated for Monday.
The upcoming mission involves the spacecraft named SLIM, designed to achieve unparalleled precision by landing within a mere 100 meters of scientifically intriguing lunar rocks.
This stands in stark contrast to traditional landers, which exhibit a significant margin of error, often touching down several to a dozen kilometers away.
The impending launch comes just four months after Japan’s initial moon landing endeavor ended in disappointment back in April.
The inherent challenges of lunar landings underscore the complexity of such missions. With renewed determination, Japan is poised for another shot at success.
The significance of SLIM lies in its advancement of Japanese lunar exploration capabilities. It holds the distinction of being Japan’s maiden spacecraft specifically engineered for pinpoint landing.
Remarkably, it also claims the title of the smallest and lightest lunar lander ever constructed.
With a svelte weight of merely 200 kilograms, roughly equivalent to a refrigerator, SLIM offers enhanced launch and transport feasibility. This lightweight attribute paves the way for more frequent lunar and planetary missions.
To provide a comprehensive overview of its mission, SLIM is equipped with a moon rover and a cutting-edge multiband spectral camera. The rover’s primary function is to traverse the lunar surface, conducting exploratory activities.
Meanwhile, the camera’s sophisticated capabilities are harnessed to meticulously analyze the composition of lunar rocks.
Marked on the calendar for August 28, the launch date for SLIM is swiftly approaching. Following the launch, a journey of approximately four months is anticipated before the spacecraft reaches the moon.
Once it arrives, SLIM is slated to spend a month in lunar orbit before ultimately descending to the lunar surface, an endeavor expected to unfold around six months after liftoff.
For those interested in witnessing this remarkable endeavor, live-streaming of the launch will be made available.