May 21, 2024

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The Japanese lunar lander was not built to survive a weeks-long lunar night. And it's still going after 3

The Japanese lunar lander was not built to survive a weeks-long lunar night.  And it's still going after 3

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's first lunar lander survived a third freezing lunar night, Japan's space agency said Wednesday after receiving an image from the device three months after it landed on the moon.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said that the lunar probe responded to a signal from Earth on Tuesday night, confirming that it had survived another lunar night that lasted another week.

Temperatures can drop to -170 degrees Celsius (minus 274 degrees Fahrenheit) during a lunar night, and rise to about 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit) during a lunar day.

The probe, Smart Lander for Investing Moon, or SLIM, reached the lunar surface on January 20, making Japan the fifth country to successfully send a probe to the moon. Slim on January 20 It landed in the wrong direction Its solar panels initially couldn't see the sun and had to be turned off within hours, but they were turned on when the sun rose eight days later.

SLIM, which was tasked with testing Japanese precision landing technology and collecting geological data and images, was not designed to survive lunar nights.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said on social media platform The agency said it plans to closely monitor the vehicle's deteriorating condition.

Scientists hope to find Clues about the origin of the moon By comparing the mineral compositions of moon rocks and those found on Earth.

The SLIM message came days after NASA Contact with Voyager 1 has been restoredwhich is the farthest space probe from Earth, has been sending distorted data to Earth for several months.

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An American lunar probe developed by a private space company announced the end of its work a month after landing in February, while an Indian lunar lander failed to make contact after landing in 2023.