Japan Looks Forward to Promoting Space Cooperation With India

The team is also working to gather all of the scientific data obtained by the lander. The lander was able to release its two lunar rovers, LEV-1 and LEV-2…reports Asian Lite News

Japanese Ambassador to India Hiroshi Suzuki on Sunday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for congratulating Japan on its soft landing on the Moon. Suzuki stated that he looked forward to promoting cooperation between India and Japan in space exploration.

In a post shared on X, Hiroshi Suzuki stated, “Thank you, Prime Minister Modi ji !Looking forward to promoting Japan-India cooperation in space exploration.” He made the comments on social media platform X in response to PM Modi’s post on X.

PM Modi on Saturday congratulated Japanese PM Fumio Kishida for achieving its first soft landing on the moon and said that India is looking forward to the cooperation between the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Japan became only the fifth nation to successfully complete the soft landing on the moon in the late hours of Saturday.

Taking to X, PM Modi stated, “Congratulations Prime Minister @Kishida230 and everyone at JAXA on achieving Japan’s first soft Moon landing. India looks forward to our cooperation in space exploration between @isro and JAXA.”

PM Modi responded to the post of his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida who had congratulated everyone involved in the mission for the successful landing of the ‘Slim’ on the moon.’

Taking to X, Japanese PM Fumio Kishida stated, “It is very welcome news that the small lunar landing demonstration vehicle “Slim” (@SLIM_JAXA) has successfully landed on the moon, although detailed analysis is required as the solar cells are not generating electricity. We would like to express our respect to everyone involved for their efforts thus far, and we will continue to support them as they take on further challenges.”

Japan created history by becoming only the fifth nation to successfully complete the soft landing on the moon with its ‘Moon Sniper’ robotic explorer, but fear looms that the mission may end prematurely since the spacecraft’s solar cell is not generating electricity, CNN reported, citing the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

The lander’s solar power system was not working, with its battery believed to have run out within a few hours of landing, Kyodo News reported. Earlier, JAXA officials said they suspected that the built-in power generation system was not properly facing the sun and could start to function once sunlight conditions change.

The solar cell issue persisted as the spacecraft is not pointing in the intended direction, JAXA officials earlier said. According to CNN, there is still hope that as the solar angle changes on the moon, the solar cell may be able to charge again. However, that may take some time and will depend on whether SLIM can survive the frigid lunar night, the team shared during a news conference.

The uncrewed Smart Lander for Investigating Moon, or SLIM, mission landed just after 10:20 am ET Friday (12:20 am local time), according to telemetry data shared on JAXA’s live broadcast.

The agency believes the mission has met the criteria to declare it a “minimum success,” because the spacecraft achieved a precise and soft lunar landing using optical navigation. The landing makes Japan the third country to land on the moon this century, and the fifth overall.

When asked to score the landing operation for SLIM, JAXA director general Hitoshi Kuninaka gave it a “60 out of 100,” while also mentioning that he is known for making “harsh comments.”

The team is also working to gather all of the scientific data obtained by the lander. The lander was able to release its two lunar rovers, LEV-1 and LEV-2.

The LEV-1 rover moves using a hopping mechanism and is equipped with wide-angle visible light cameras, scientific equipment and antennas that allow it to communicate with Earth, CNN reported. The LEV-2 also outfitted with cameras, can change shape to move across the lunar surface.

The small-scale SLIM robotic explorer, which launched in September, goes by the nickname “Moon Sniper” as it carried new precision technology to demonstrate a “pinpoint” landing.

Previously, lunar missions have been able to target and reach specific zones that spanned many kilometres, but the SLIM lander targeted a landing site that stretches just 100 meters (328 feet) across.

The lander’s “smart eyes” — an image-matching-based navigation technology — rapidly photographed the lunar surface on approach and autonomously made adjustments as the spacecraft descended to touchdown on a sloped surface, as reported by CNN. The JAXA team is still working to determine the accuracy of SLIM’s landing, which could take up to a month. (ANI)

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