All posts tagged: lunar exploration

Japan’s moon lander still going after 3 lunar nights

Japan’s moon lander still going after 3 lunar nights

TOKYO —  Japan’s first moon lander has survived a third freezing lunar night, Japan’s space agency said Wednesday after receiving an image from the device three months after it landed on the moon. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said the lunar probe responded to a signal from the earth Tuesday night, confirming it has survived another weekslong lunar night. Temperatures can fall to minus 170 degrees Celsius during a lunar night and rise to around 100 Celsius during a lunar day. The probe, Smart Lander for Investing Moon, or SLIM, reached the lunar surface on Jan. 20, making Japan the fifth country to successfully place a probe on the moon. SLIM landed the wrong way up with its solar panels initially unable to see the sun, and had to be turned off within hours, but powered on when the sun rose eight days later. SLIM, which was tasked with testing Japan’s pinpoint landing technology and collecting geological data and images, was not designed to survive lunar nights. JAXA said on the social media platform X …

Everyone Wants a Piece of the Moon

Everyone Wants a Piece of the Moon

For the past few days, mission control in Houston has been talking to the moon. It’s a throwback to an earlier space age, with a few tweaks. Mission control is not NASA, but a private American company called Intuitive Machines, sending instructions to an uncrewed lander about the size of a telephone booth. The spacecraft made a nail-biting descent to the lunar surface on Thursday, with a last-minute software patch to make up for malfunctioning navigation sensors. One of the spacecraft’s legs snagged the surface and the whole thing tipped over, landing on its side. But still: It was the first time an American spacecraft had landed on the moon in more than 50 years. The mission is the latest event in what has quickly become the busiest decade in lunar exploration since the 1960s. Government agencies and private companies in the United States, China, India, Japan, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates have all dispatched lunar landers in the past five years, with varying degrees of success. Many more missions, both uncrewed and crewed, …

2024 is set to be the year of the moon, but let’s proceed with care

2024 is set to be the year of the moon, but let’s proceed with care

Joe Marino/UPI Credit/Alamy Live News THIS is the year of the moon, and it is already kicking off. The first launch of the Vulcan rocket on 8 January marked the start of what may be the biggest deluge of missions the moon has ever seen, thanks to NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) programme. The first CLPS mission is Astrobotic’s Peregrine lander, an uncrewed craft lofted on Vulcan that hoped to reach the lunar surface on 23 February. It could have been the first time a private firm touched down on the moon, but Peregrine suffered a fuel leak and won’t now make it… Source link