Japanese flight controllers have successfully regained contact with the SLIM moon lander after it tipped over.

Japanese flight controllers have regained contact with the SLIM lunar lander, eight days after it tipped over and lost power during its landing attempt on January 19, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. The spacecraft experienced an engine malfunction just before landing, causing it to drift to one side instead of descending straight down. This lateral velocity resulted in the probe tilting over upon touchdown, leaving its solar cells facing away from the sun. Without solar power, the spacecraft had to rely on its onboard battery, which was running low. After downloading photographs and engineering data, commands were sent to shut down the spacecraft while it still had a small reserve of battery power. Officials were hopeful that contact could be restored when the angle between the sun and SLIM’s solar cells changed as the moon moved through its orbit. Meanwhile, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter captured images of the SLIM landing site from an altitude of 50 miles. The team successfully established communication with SLIM and resumed operations, starting scientific observations with the multi-band camera. The target of the mission was a nearby rock formation named “toy poodle.” It is unclear how long the spacecraft can operate with the available power or if it will need to be shut down again to await additional power generation. Despite the challenges faced, SLIM successfully landed on the moon, making Japan the fifth nation to achieve a lunar landing.

Disclaimer: Only the headline and content of this report may have been reworked by Newsearay, staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed. The Article was originally published on Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *