Society & Culture

Japan space agency to attempt country’s first Moon landing in January

Agencies – Sudan Events 

Japan’s Space Agency is hoping to carry out a soft lunar landing when a small craft touches down on the Moon’s surface on January 19.

If successful, it will be the first time Japan has landed on the Moon, after a previous attempt by a Japanese company this year failed.

“The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Jaxa) is pleased to announce that the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (Slim), which was launched on September 7, 2023, is currently operating smoothly,” Jaxa said.

If the date is missed, the next landing opportunity will be on February 16.

Slim is expected to achieve a pinpoint landing with an accuracy of less than 100m.

“This marks an unprecedentedly high-precision landing on a gravitational body such as the Moon, and the results are anticipated to contribute to the programmes, such as international space exploration, that are currently under study,” Jaxa said.

Company ispace was the previous Japanese mission to the Moon when it tried to land its Hakuto-R Mission 1 craft on the surface.

It was carrying the UAE’s Rashid rover and many other international payloads.

The craft crashed on to the lunar surface because of a software glitch that miscalculated its altitude.

Only the US, the former Soviet Union, China and India have been able to land softly on the Moon.

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