Bharat Express

Japan’s Moon Sniper Put To Sleep Following Another Extremely Cold Lunar Night

Despite initial issues, the probe transmitted images to Earth, revealing the presence of mantle material in nearby lunar rocks

Moon Sniper

Japan’s space agency announced Monday that Moon Sniper was put to sleep again after unexpectedly surviving its second ultra-cold long lunar night.

The Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM), nicknamed the ‘Moon Sniper’ due to its landing precision, landed in January, making Japan only the fifth country to execute a soft lunar landing.

However, the unmanned lightweight spacecraft, which was carrying a mini-rover that moves like a turtle, landed at an odd angle, causing its solar panels to face the wrong direction.

Despite negative expectations, the probe was reactivated in late February when the lunar night, which lasts around 14 Earth days, ended.

Despite temperatures as low as -130 degrees Celsius (-200 degrees Fahrenheit), it repeated the feat last week and returned new photographs to Earth.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) stated on Monday that the probe had been placed back to slumber on Sunday.

JAXA tweeted, “During this operation, we mainly checked the status of several devices by turning on switches and applying loads”, through its official ‘X’ handle.

Referring to the Multi-band Camera used to analyze lunar rocks, JAXA went on to say, “Although there are some malfunctions in some functions of MBC, it still works, so we are carefully checking its status”.

Some rocks near the lunar craters are thought to contain material from its mantle, which could reveal clues about how the Moon was formed.

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