We have entered the year of great space exploration as various countries are in competition to reach the moon’s surface. It is surprising to see the number of missions that are being planned and executed in 2023. First, we saw the launch of India’s third moon mission, Chardrayaan-3, which is ready to land there tomorrow, August 23. Then came Russia’s moon mission, which was conducted after 45 years of delay, but sadly the spacecraft crashed. Now, Japan’s Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is preparing to launch its Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM), which is also called 'Moon Sniper', on August 26.
There are more! Various other moon exploration missions have been planned for the upcoming months of this year. Let’s first know what Japan’s moon mission is all about.
The launch of SLIM is scheduled as a shared payload with the XRISM mission, using an H2A booster from Japan's Tanegashima Space Center. The scheduled launch is set for August 26 at 7 AM IST. According to a JAXA report, SLIM aims to land on the difficult moon region with limited resources, small size and lower weight. The lander is designed in a unique way with different landing methods. The mission aims to understand the different landing possibilities on the moon’s surface.
The SLIM, during launch, will be 590 KG in weight and it will reduce to 210 kg at touchdown on the moon's surface. This mission aims to reduce time and resources for future space exploration and it will increase the understanding of the solar system.
The lander will identify a safe location for the landing. JAXA's aim is for it to touch down near its intended target, with a precision of around 100 meters. This mission will be the first lunar mission for JAXA.
The spacecraft consists of a landing radar for navigation or any obstacle detection. It also includes amultiband camera and laser retroreflector array which will conduct specific tasks for safe landing.
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