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Japanese Moon Mission Might Be Cut Short

On January 19, 2024, in a historic moment, Japan became the latest nation to land on the moon.
Japanese Moon Mission Might Be Cut Short

On January 19, 2024, in a historic moment, Japan became the latest nation to land on the moon. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched its robotic explorer named SLIM, which successfully landed softly on the moon. After this moment, Japan became the fifth country to ever land on the moon, joining The USA, China, the former USSR, and India.

Sadly, the spacecraft had to be turned off just 3 hours after making contact with the surface of the moon to save energy. The reason for this is because the solar panels on the spacecraft were pointing west, away from the sun, this made it so the solar cells could not supply energy to the craft.“The battery was disconnected according to our procedures with 12% power remaining, to avoid a situation where the restart (of the lander) would be hampered,” Jaxa stated.

 Luckily, there is still a chance that Japan can salvage this mission, JAXA hopes the sun could hit the cells in “just the right spot” to supply enough energy to keep the mission going. Even if the mission is not able to be salvaged, JAXA is still considering this mission a success, because their innovative precision-landing technology was a success, even earning it the name “Moon Sniper”. Also, the spacecraft already collected many samples and data which can help them on a future mission in which they will send the first woman and first person of color to the moon.

Landing on the Moon has proven to be a tough feat with only about 50% of all missions being successful. Japan and its citizens are elated at the successful mission, and they hope to continue making strides in outer space.

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Michael A., Writer
Hello, my name is Michael. I am in 7th grade and I'm 13 years old. My goals this year are to produce good and reliable news.

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