For a spacecraft that landed upside down on the moon’s south pole surface, the Japanese SLIM lunar lander is showing absolutely remarkable resilience, as it arises that earlier this week the spacecraft ‘woke up’ from its SECOND Lunar night!

You can recall this incredible story here on TGP:

First is was: OH, NO: Japanese SLIM Lunar Lander Is Upside Down on the Moon Surface!

The it became: SLIM IS BACK: Upside Down Japanese Moon Lander Recharged Batteries and Resumed Lunar Mission

After that, SLIM Moon Lander Is ‘Asleep’ Again for the Lunar Night – Japanese Space Agency Will Try To Turn Spacecraft on Again in Two Weeks

and finally:

SLIM IS BACK: Upside Down Japanese Moon Lander Recharged Batteries and Resumed Lunar Mission

So, SLIM’s ‘alive’.

The ‘moon sniper’ survived its second freezing lunar night, as mission team members announced the news on X, in a post that also featured a photo newly snapped by the lander’s navigation camera.

Space.com reported:

SLIM, whose name is short for “Smart Lander for Investigating Moon,” launched last September and landed on Jan. 19, making Japan just the fifth nation to pull off a soft lunar touchdown. (The other four are the Soviet Union, the United States, China and India.)

The solar-powered SLIM landed on its nose that day, a less-than-optimal orientation for harvesting sunlight. The 440-pound (200 kilograms) probe went dark shortly thereafter but then woke up on Jan. 28 and began gathering data. 

The mission team put SLIM into hibernation a few days later ahead of the two-week-long lunar night, during which surface temperatures at its locale dropped to around minus 208 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 130 degrees Celsius).”

With two ‘revivals’ to its credit, the ‘moon sniper’ is beginning to suffer from the radical temperatures.

“‘According to the acquired data, some temperature sensors and unused battery cells are starting to malfunction, but the majority of functions that survived the first lunar night was mantained even after the second lunar night!’ mission team members said in another X post on Wednesday night.”

In an additional post, mission control wrote: ‘Last night, the temperature dropped a little, so I received uncompressed data from the navigation camera that was taken the other day. The distance to the distant cross-shaped crater is approximately 7 km, and the distance to the mountain behind it is approximately 29 km. The sense of distance is quite different from Earth because there is no atmospheric haze and the distance to the horizon is different.’





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