Friday, January 26, 2024


 Hey, Space Placers!


A black and white gif of two images of the Moon's surface before and after SLIM landed on the surface. A scale line for 50m is in the bottom right. The second image is slightly brighter around the landing site.

This image pair shows LRO views of the area surrounding the SLIM site before (frame M1254087075L) and after (frame M1460739214L) its landing. Note the slight change in reflectance around the lander due to engine exhaust sweeping the surface. These images are enlarged by a factor of two, and are about 1,444 feet (440 meters) wide.

NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University

Before and after images of the Moon's surface taken by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) reveals JAXA's SLIM lander.


Japan's SLIM moon lander, photographed on the lunar surface in January 2024 by LEV-2, a tiny rover that traveled to the moon with SLIM. 

(Image credit: JAXA/Takara Tomy/Sony Group Corporation/Doshisha University))


JAXA's SLIM lunar mission has returned some photos from one of its 2 rovers that shows the lander essentially upside down. BUT the lander made lunar spaceflight history by being the most precise lunar landing to date - only 180 FEET off target! 

It appears that one of the two landing rockets quit just 50 meters above the lunar surface that caused SLIM to flip over and land essentially upside down. The two time onboard rovers were able to deploy and activate as we can see by the picture. In the JAXA press release about the rovers, another lunar surface historic first was accomplished by JAXA:

"Additionally, the small LEV-1 with a mass of 2.1 kg (including a 90g communication device), achieved successful direct communication with Earth from the moon. This is considered as the world's smallest and lightest case of direct data transmission from approximately 380,000 kilometers away."

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), along with the University of Aizu and Ritsumeikan University, has released images captured by the Multi-Band Camera (MBC) onboard the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM).

Figure 1:A lunar surface scan mosaic image captured by the SLIM-mounted MBC (left) and its enlarged view (right). (Credit: JAXA, RITSUMEIKAN UNIVERSITY, THE UNIVERSITY OF AIZU)
The grey area on the right of the mosaic lacks data due to the discontinuation of scanning operation.

What a story! I sure hope JAXA can bring SLIM in line with the alignment of the Sun and its solar 


Sky Guy in VA

No comments:

Post a Comment