April 16, 2024

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Japan's SLIM lunar lander takes final photos before entering idle phase (photos)

Japan's SLIM lunar lander takes final photos before entering idle phase (photos)

Japan's historic lunar lander SLIM has retired ahead of a potentially mission-ending cold lunar night — but not before capturing some final images and loads 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)

An image of the lunar surface taken by Japan's SLIM lunar lander. Due to the variation in solar radiation conditions over time, some of the rocks that will be monitored have been changed and added. (Image credit: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Ritsumeikan University, Aizu University)

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.