Japan's SLIM Moon Lander Survives Harsh Lunar Night Conditions

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Japan's SLIM Moon Lander Survives Harsh Lunar Night Conditions

Japan's space agency, JAXA, announced that their lunar probe, Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM), has endured another lunar night and responded to a signal from Earth, confirming its continued survival on the moon. Despite facing temperatures as low as minus 170 degrees Celsius during the lunar night and as high as 100 degrees Celsius during the day, SLIM has managed to operate its key functions successfully.

SLIM made history when it landed on the lunar surface on January 20, becoming the fifth country to achieve this milestone. The probe initially faced challenges as it landed upside down, causing its solar panels to be unable to generate power from the sun, but it successfully powered back on after eight days when the sun rose. Although SLIM was not designed to endure the harsh conditions of lunar nights, it has surprised scientists by maintaining its operations through the extreme temperature changes on the moon.

JAXA shared updates on SLIM's status on social media, highlighting that the probe's critical functions are still operational despite the challenging lunar environment. The agency expressed its plans to closely monitor the lander's condition as it continues its mission to gather geological data and images from the moon. The success of SLIM's mission contributes to scientists' efforts to study the moon's origin by comparing mineral compositions of moon rocks with those found on Earth.