Japan says SLIM spacecraft’s ‘pinpoint’ moon landing is success

January 26, 2024 - 12:42 PM
Journalists look at a screen showing an image taken by LEV-2 on the moon, at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)’s press conference on the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM)’s moon landing mission, in Tokyo, Japan January 25, 2024. (Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon)

 Japan achieved an unprecedented “pinpoint” moon landing within 100 meters (328 feet) of target, the space agency said on Thursday, after its probe SLIM’s touchdown on Saturday made Japan the fifth country to put a spacecraft on the moon.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) also said it received all data about the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM)’s landing in the 2 hours and 37 minutes after the touchdown and before the probe lost power.

SLIM’s solar panels have been unable to generate electricity likely because they were angled wrong, but a change in the sunlight’s direction could power it up again, JAXA said.

— Reporting by Kantaro Komiya; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim