SLIM Moon Lander Survives Lunar Night, Re-establishes Communication

SLIM Moon Lander Survives Lunar Night, Re-establishes Communication

A recently released image captured by the LEV-2 compact robot on the moon's surface depicts the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) probe, along with the robot's wheels positioned on both sides in the foreground. This photograph was taken shortly after SLIM's release from the Small Lunar Imager Module (SLIM) just prior to its successful landing.

The Japanese space agency, JAXA, announced on Monday that the SLIM moon lander had unexpectedly endured a frigid lunar night and had re-established communication with Earth, more than a month after making a historic "pinpoint" landing on the moon's surface. This successful touchdown made Japan the fifth nation to successfully place a probe on the lunar surface.

SLIM's historic landing marked a significant milestone in the exploration of the moon. Last week, U.S.-based Intuitive Machines' Odysseus probe followed suit, as nations and private enterprises continue to compete for resources and the potential for human habitation on the moon.

Shortly after landing approximately 55 meters (180 feet) from its designated target south of the moon's equator, SLIM's power supply was depleted due to the solar panels being positioned at the wrong angle after the lander had tipped over. However, more than a week later, the solar panels regained power thanks to a change in the sunlight's direction. JAXA had previously indicated that the probe was not designed to survive a lunar night.