Japan’s Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) lunar lander appears to have achieved a soft touchdown on the Moon’s surface but is currently unable to generate electricity from onboard solar cells. To utilize the remaining battery life to maximum effect, controllers worked to prioritize the recording and downloading of data.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) recently confirmed that all of the engineering data and imagery have been received and are being analyzed. Following an anomaly that led to the loss of one engine, the craft appears to have settled nose-down with the solar cells facing west, which means that they will only receive sunlight during the last few Earth days of the lunar Day (14 Earth days). With only 12 per cent remaining battery power, SLIM was shut down for a few days.
On Jan. 29, JAXA confirmed that power had been restored and communication reestablished, but by late Jan. 31, Power had been as the vehicle entered a 14-day period of lunar night.