SLIM : Japan’s Moon Mission
Japan recently landed a spacecraft called SLIM (Smart Lander for Investigating Moon) on the lunar surface, becoming the 5th country after the Soviet Union, the US, China and India to achieve a soft landing on the moon.
- SLIM was launched by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in September 2023 aboard the H-IIA rocket from the Tanegashima spaceport.
- It aims to demonstrate precision landing within 100 metres through new technologies.
- It also carried two mini robotic rovers developed by Sony and Tomy for reconnaissance.
- The mission aims to revitalise Japan’s space program which suffered setbacks like the failure of the flagship H3 rocket in March 2023.
- The mission aims to observe X-rays coming from deep space and to identify their wavelengths with unprecedented precision.
- It will use state-of-the-art spectroscopy to measure changes in the brightness of celestial objects at different wavelengths.
- It detects X-rays with energies ranging from 400 to 12,000 electron volts.
- This range will provide astrophysicists with new information about some of the universe’s hottest regions, largest structures, and objects with the strongest gravity.