JAPAN’S SLIM (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     28th December 2023        
output themes

Context: Japan's Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) spacecraft recently entered into orbit around the moon after a months-long journey, marking a significant milestone ahead of its planned moon-landing attempt on January 19.

Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM)

  • About: SLIM, a spacecraft, was developed and launched by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on September 7, 2023, from the Tanegashima spaceport.
  • Weight Disparity: At the time of launch, SLIM had a remarkably low weight of 590 kg, in stark contrast to the significantly heavier Chandrayaan 3, which weighed 3,900 kg.
  • Mission Accompaniment: SLIM was launched alongside XRISM, a cutting-edge X-ray space telescope, using an H-2A rocket.
  • Lunar Orbit Entry: On December 25, SLIM successfully entered an elliptical orbit around the moon, achieving this milestone in approximately three minutes. 

oThe orbit's apogee (farthest point) is at 4,000 km, while the perigee (closest point) is 600 km above the lunar surface.

  • Japan will become only the fifth country to soft-land a robotic craft on the natural satellite, months after India succeeded with its Chandrayaan 3 mission in August if it succeeds.
  • LUPEX: Indian-Japan joint enterprise with an earliest launch date in 2026. It will explore an area closer to the moon’s south pole than Chandrayaan 3 did – and this makes all the difference.