Japan’s Moon Lander Survives Freezing Lunar Nights

Japan’s Moon lander, called SLIM, has achieved something incredible—it survived the extremely cold, two-week lunar night! This is a big deal for Japan’s space exploration.

SLIM landed on the Moon in January but faced a problem with its solar panels. They were facing the wrong way, so it couldn’t get enough sunlight. But as the sun’s angle changed, SLIM woke up and worked for two days, taking pictures of a crater using a special camera.

Even though SLIM wasn’t built for the freezing lunar nights (where temperatures drop to -133 degrees Celsius!), it surprised everyone by waking up again after two weeks of being dormant. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said that SLIM went back to sleep on March 1st, but they plan to try waking it up again when the sun shines on it in late March.

This success is a big achievement for Japan’s space program, especially after some recent failures. Japan now joins the United States, the Soviet Union, China, and India as one of the few countries to successfully land on the Moon.

SLIM’s mission is to study a part of the Moon’s mantle, which is a deep layer under its surface. This mission is part of a bigger plan that includes NASA’s goal to send astronauts back to the Moon and eventually set up habitats there.

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