SLIM Probe Lands on Moon, Solar Panel Issue Raises Concerns

SLIM Probe Lands on Moon, Solar Panel Issue Raises Concerns

During a press conference held in the early hours of January 20, Hitoshi Kuninaka, head of the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), announced that the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) probe had successfully landed on the lunar surface. The probe transmitted signals back to Earth, indicating sound operation.

However, Kuninaka expressed concern over the malfunction of the probe's solar panels, which were not fully operational. Despite a near-perfect landing, the tilt of the probe upon landing caused the panels to remain partially folded, limiting the probe's power supply.

Despite the setback, ISAS staff worked tirelessly to analyze incoming data and switch the probe to battery mode to capture images during its journey to the moon. Project manager Shinichiro Sakai was notably absent from the press conference, likely due to his involvement in overseeing data transfer.

Despite the successful landing, ISAS officials remained cautious, acknowledging that the lack of solar power generation threatened to shorten the probe's mission. However, they expressed hope that a shift in the sun's position could potentially reactivate the panels and restore full functionality to the probe.