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Japan publishes a photo of lunar soil taken by the probe on a historic mission  Sciences

Japan publishes a photo of lunar soil taken by the probe on a historic mission Sciences

Image shows lunar soil after module landing – Image: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency/Takara Tomy/Sony Group Corporation/Doshisha University

Japan released an unprecedented image of lunar soil, taken by its unmanned SLIM probe, on Thursday (25). The module landed on the moon on Friday (19), making Japan the fifth country in the world to achieve this feat.

The Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) stated that the probe was able to photograph and transmit data using a tossable robot. Other data is still being analyzed by scientists.

The SLIM (Lunar Exploration Intelligent Landing Module) landed just a few meters from the target designated by the Japanese.

By comparison, conventional landings have an accuracy of kilometers, which limits exploration to specific locations, with many rocks, for example.

The agency stated that it was able to receive data from the module less than 3 hours after landing on the moon, and the information was sent before the probe lost power.

Also according to Jaxa, SLIM's solar panels were unable to generate electricity due to possible incorrect placement of the equipment. However, a change in the direction of sunlight can solve the problem.

In a historic mission, Japan became the fifth country in the world to land on the moon

The SLIM is approximately 1.7 meters long, 2.7 meters wide and 2.4 meters high. In other words, it is very compact. Hence the play on his name in English, which can also be translated as “thin”.

This was crucial, since the landing terrain was steep and the mission was essential to avoid obstacles. See picture below.

How was the unit landing? – Image: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency/Disclosure

The probe includes two small, tossable robots: a jumping vehicle the size of a microwave oven, and a rover the size of a baseball, developed in cooperation with the technology giant Sony.

These instruments will be responsible for taking images from the module, providing a new perspective of the lunar surface.