Successful start: Japan already on its way to the moon


Japan has sent a small probe to the moon. An H2A launch vehicle successfully lifted off from the Tanegashima Cosmodrome on Thursday morning (local time) in clear weather. In addition to the lunar lander SLIM, there was also an X-ray telescope called XRISM on board, intended to investigate the origin of the universe.

The rocket launch was previously postponed several times due to bad weather conditions. Should Japan succeed with SLIM, the high-tech country would become the fifth country to achieve a soft landing on the moon, after the former Soviet Union, the US, China and India.

Can you land with pinpoint accuracy?
India was only able to do this a few days ago after a Russian space probe crashed into the moon. The lunar lander, developed by the Japanese space agency Jaxa, is intended to test technologies for future accurate landings on the lunar surface. SLIM will enter lunar orbit about three to four months after launch and attempt to reach the lunar surface within four to six months.

The data Japan collects on the moon will be used as part of the US-led Artemis project. The goal of this project is to return humans to the moon by 2025 and to advance lunar exploration. The broader goal is human exploration of Mars.

Focus on hot gas plasma wind
Japan is also collaborating with the US space agency NASA and the European space agency ESA on the X-Ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission (XRISM). XRISM is designed to observe the hot gas plasma wind that blows through galaxies in the Universe. It is hoped that this will provide information about the composition and development of celestial bodies.

Japan wants to get involved in satellite launches
It was the first launch of a larger Japanese-developed launch vehicle since a next-generation H3 launcher failed in March this year. The successor to the reliable H2 launcher was Japan’s first major launch launch development in about 30 years. Japan intends to establish itself firmly in the lucrative and increasingly competitive global satellite launch industry.

The H3 rocket program is also seen as important to Japan’s participation in space development, including the US-led Artemis program.

Source: Krone


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