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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Japan launches its first lunar lander SLIM, JAXA/NASA’s XRISM satellite


 A Japanese H-IIA carrier rocket with Japan’s Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) and a satellite dubbed the X-Ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission (XRISM) launched Thursday from Tanegashima Space Center, according to the broadcast of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

The launch was initially scheduled for August 26 but was postponed twice due to weather conditions.

XRISM, a JAXA/NASA collaborative mission with the participation of the European Space Agency, was expected to separate from the carrier rocket 14 minutes after the launch, while SLIM was expected to separate from the rocket 47 minutes after the launch. Japan’s lander is expected to reach Moon’s orbit in 3-4 months and land on its soil in 4-6 months.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has been working with JAXA to develop the lunar module, with a special focus on landing accuracy. The lander is planned to study the surface of the Moon. If the landing is successful, the data from the expedition will be used in the preparations for the United States’ Artemis I mission to the Moon and Mars.

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