Japan has planned its first-ever lunar landing in January

By: Maksim Panasovskyi | 06.12.2023, 23:58
Japan has planned its first-ever lunar landing in January

The Japanese space agency is preparing for the first ever landing on the Moon. The SLIM spacecraft should be on the surface of the satellite in the second half of January 2024.

Here's What We Know

The spacecraft is expected to begin landing on the Moon on 19 January at 11:00 (EDT) or 08:00 (PDT). The descent procedure should take up to 20 minutes. If successful, SLIM will be the first Japanese spacecraft to make a soft landing on the surface of the Moon.

The SLIM (Smart Lander for Investigating Moon) landing module was sent to the Moon in early September this year. After about three weeks, it was able to successfully leave the Earth's orbit. It is scheduled to enter lunar orbit on 25 December 2023. Preparations for the descent will take almost a month.

The Japanese mission aims to practice landing on the moon with an accuracy of 100 metres. Success will make Japan the fifth country to deliver a spacecraft to the Moon safely. Previously, the United States, China, the USSR and India did it. And the last one for this was only $75 million.

This year, the Japanese landing module HAKUTO-R crashed during descent. Also crashed Russian station "Luna-25" at a cost of $ 130 million. If SLIM will not be able to land on 19 January, the second attempt is scheduled for mid-February 2024.

Source: JAXA