SLIM shot after 2nd awakening.
Image credit: JAXA/SLIM

From the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) has reawakened from another dose of lunar night that extends for some 14 days.

“Last night, we received a response from SLIM, confirming that the spacecraft made it through the lunar night for the second time! Since the sun was still high and the equipment was still hot, we only took some shots of the usual scenery with the navigation camera.”

Image taken shortly after landing, the Ultra-small SORA-QI photo of SLIM in nose-down mode. Image credit: JAXA/Inside Outer Space screengrab

Repeat temperature swings

On March 1, the Sun had set on the Shioli Crater and SLIM re-entered a period of dormancy. “Although the probability of a failure increases with the repeated severe temperature cycles, SLIM operation will attempt to resume when the sun rises,” the JAXA/SLIM group said at that time.

“According to the acquired data,” a JAXA/SLIM statement explains, “some temperature sensors and unused battery cells are starting to malfunction, but the majority of functions that survived the first lunar night was maintained even after the second lunar night!”

SLIM made its lunar landing on January 19, 2024 making Japan the fifth country to soft-land a spacecraft on the Moon.

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