The Japanese SLIM module landed on the Moon upside down: who took the photo?

Japan became the fifth country to land on the moon. Be belly up It doesn’t matter. The Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) said the mission was a “success” and, as we’ll see, they’re right.

The Japanese SLIM mission not only wanted to be the first from that country to land on the Moon. According to the space agency itself, it was also going to test a new landing system with “sniper” precision.

The Moon landing is an approximation because both the Moon and small landers travel at high speeds. Usually the module lands several kilometers from the intended location. According to this, here we have the first success of the Japanese SLIM module as it landed just 55 meters from the target.

SLIM module on the Moon, inverted but not dead

Before landing, when it was in orbit around the Moon, was able to deploy a NASA satelliteso this counts as another success.

As we see in the first photo of the news, lThe SLIM spacecraft made a soft landing because it remained intact. So this is considered a lucky landing.

The problem is that… landed upside down, face up, due to a malfunction of the propulsion engines during landing, which should have turned him around to land on his feet. This is how it should have been:

Japan is the fifth country to land on the Moon, but its module could die in a matter of hours


When the left belly is up nor was able to deploy the solar panels so that it could only run for a few hours, which is how long the battery lasted.

But SLIM made very good use of this watch because was able to deploy two small robots LEV1 and LEV2 that he was carrying.

And here is the great genius of the Japanese: how could SLIM turn the robots around if it were upside down? Because These little rovers are two balls the size of tennis balls.. After touching the ground, they deploy their tools, including the camera. Here you can see what it looks like:



So we have already decided mystery of photography: It was taken by the LEV2 robot, which handed it over to the LEV1 robot to send to Earth.

This is another important success of the mission: These are the first lunar robots in history to operate autonomously.without the need for control from the ground or a lander.

This is how the Turin scale works, which astronomers use to measure the danger of asteroids.

JAXA’s next step will be to wait for the Sun to be placed in the right position to illuminate the solar panels the way they do now. Japanese scientists are confident that the lander can work for several hours from time to time, even if it is in an inverted position.

As we see, The Japanese SLIM mission landed on the Moon… backwards. But he achieved several important successes that made the mission worthwhile.

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