Japan's 'Moon Sniper' mission finally launched after three delays
Japan has launched its "Moon Sniper" mission, aiming to become the fifth nation to achieve a precise landing on the lunar surface.
Japan's "Moon Sniper" mission has launched with the goal of becoming the fifth country to safely land on the lunar surface and the first to do so with exceptional precision. The Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (Slim) is nicknamed "Sniper", and the reason is that it is aimed to land within 100 meters of a specific target on the moon, a much smaller margin than the usual range of several kilometers.
The H-IIA rocket carrying Slim took off from Tanegashima, watched by 35,000 online viewers. The lander is expected to touch down on the lunar surface in early 2024.
🇯🇵 @JAXA_en | @SLIM_JAXA Launch Update 🚨— ZetaGravit (@zetagravit) September 7, 2023
🚀 H-IIA 202 #H2AF47 carrying #SLIM & #XRISM as Viewed from Takezaki observatory of #tanegashima Space Center, Japan#JAXA #SORAQ #ソラキュー #H2A #HIIA #MoonSniper
🎥:- @tnsc_JAXA pic.twitter.com/38gU2jmmVW
During the mission, the Slim probe and the XRISM space research satellite, developed in collaboration with US and European space agencies, separated from the rocket. Only the United States, Russia, and China joined by India as of last month, have successfully landed a probe on the moon. Japan had experienced two failed moon missions, one public and one private.
Japan's space agency, JAXA, emphasized that the Slim lander represents a significant advancement in precision landing capabilities, allowing for targeted landings on celestial bodies with significant gravity, going beyond the moon. No previous instances of pinpoint landings on such celestial bodies have been recorded globally.
In addition to Slim, the XRISM satellite, launched on the same rocket, will conduct high-resolution X-ray spectroscopic observations of hot gas plasma winds in galaxies throughout the universe.
Japan has faced challenges with its launch rockets, including failures of the H3 and Epsilon rockets in 2022. Despite setbacks, Japan continues to pursue its space exploration ambitions, contributing to the growing body of lunar and space research.