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Japan Puts Moon Lander to Sleep Post-Chilly Lunar Evening

Moon
Photo Credit : Google

After unexpectedly surviving its second extremely cold long lunar night, Japan’s heroic Moon lander was once again put to sleep, the space agency announced on Monday.
As a result of the January soft landing of the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM), also known as the “Moon Sniper” due to its accuracy, Japan became the fifth country to accomplish a soft landing on the moon.

However, the lightweight unmanned spacecraft carrying a turtle-like mini-rover landed at an odd angle, causing its solar panels to face the wrong direction.

Defying pessimistic predictions, the probe was revived in late February once the lunar night — which lasts about 14 Earth days — ended.

Despite facing temperatures as low as -130 degrees Celsius (-200 degrees Fahrenheit), it repeated the feat last week and transmitted new images back to Earth.

On Monday, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) announced the probe has been put back to sleep again on Sunday.

“During this operation, we mainly checked the status of several devices by turning on switches and applying loads,” JAXA said on social media platform X.

“Although there are some malfunctions in some functions of MBC, it still works, so we are carefully checking its status,” it said, referring to the Multi-band Camera used to examine lunar rocks.

It is believed that some kinds of rocks found near the lunar craters contain mantle material, which may provide insight into the formation of the Moon.

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