According to Kyodo, at 8:42 am on September 7 (local time), Japan successfully launched an H2A booster rocket into space carrying the Smart Lunar Exploration Lander (SLIM) and the X-ray Spectroscopy and Imaging Mission (XRISM) satellite. Did. News agency.
The launch took place at the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan. The launch took place in late August after being postponed 3 times due to adverse weather.
SLIM was developed by the Japan Aeronautics and Astronautics Agency (JAXA). The lander will enter the lunar orbit approximately 3-4 months after launch and is expected to land on the lunar surface after 4-6 months.
If SLIM’s moon landing early next year is successful, Japan will become the fifth country in the world to do so, after the Soviet Union, the United States, China and India.
The SLIM lander will perform missions including making precision landings on the lunar surface and examining lunar rocks. The XRISM mission will observe plasma in stars and galaxies.
More than 50 years after humans first set foot on the Moon, a new race is underway toward Earth’s only natural satellite.
Now more and more countries – in unprecedented numbers – are preparing for adventures on the Moon. The launch of Japan’s SLIM lander came shortly after Russia’s latest mission to conquer the moon failed and India successfully landed the lander on the moon’s south pole.
South Korea is also planning to land on the moon in a similar manner this year. Meanwhile, other countries like Canada, Mexico and Israel are planning to send rovers to explore the lunar surface.
In addition, six international space agencies are collaborating with the US Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)’s Artemis program, which aims to return humans to the Moon by 2025.
Meanwhile, China is planning to send its astronauts to the lunar surface by 2030.