Japanese Spacecraft SLIM Now Operating on the Moon's Surface

 Two weeks ago, Japan became the fifth country to land a spacecraft on the lunar surface. The SLIM (Smart Lander for Investigating Moon) spacecraft is equipped with LEV-1 and LEV-2 robots. SLIM was stranded after a successful landing because the solar panels were not in the correct orientation. As a system security measure, SLIM is turned off while waiting for the Japan Space Agency (JAXA) to find a solution.

A few days ago, the Lunar Excursion Vehicle 2 (LEV-2 / SORA-Q) that was released after landing managed to take a SLIM picture of the surface of the moon. The picture shows SLIM now in an upside down position probably because it bounced after landing due to weak gravity. Kyodo News reported that since Sunday night, JAXA has not stopped contacting SLIM and found that it has successfully received the solar power required to start the task.

LEV-2 also has a camera that can record and conduct sample analysis that will look for olivine minerals to compare with minerals on Earth. The main mission is to prove 4.6 billion years ago the moon was formed after the earth collided with another planet. This information will then be obtained from LEV-1 which will send pictures and analysis results to earth.

Japan is one of the signatories of the Artemis Agreement which pledges to undertake space travel for peaceful purposes only. Emergency assistance will be provided to astronauts when needed. Also included are ethics when mining resources on the surface of the moon and Mars.

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