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Japan’s SLIM Moon Lander Sparks Back Into Life, Makes Contact

The probe unexpectedly survived a two-week lunar night after touching down on the lunar surface and falling over, severing contact with ground control

The Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM), is seen in this handout image taken by LEV-2 on the Moon, released on January 25, 2024. Photo: Reuters


Japan’s SLIM moon lander has sparked back into life, re-establishing communication with Earth after falling on its side and losing power.

The country’s space agency said the lander had unexpectedly survived a freezing two-week lunar night – a feat it had not been designed to to do – more than a month after the spacecraft made a historic “pinpoint” touchdown on the Moon.

The Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) touched down on the lunar surface last month, making Japan the fifth country to put a probe on the moon. 


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US-based Intuitive Machines’ Odysseus followed suit last week, as countries and businesses race for the moon in search of its resources and investigating human habitability.

But shortly after landing within 55m (180ft) of its target just south of the Moon’s equator, SLIM ran out of power because it had tipped over and its solar panels were at the wrong angle.

But its solar panels regained electricity more than a week later thanks to change in the sunlight’s direction.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara


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Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.


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