A Japanese module has entered lunar orbit and is supposed to land there at the end of January

A Japanese module has entered lunar orbit and is supposed to land there at the end of January

The Japanese rocket carrying the small lunar module SLIM, nicknamed “Moon Sniper,” launched in September from the archipelago under the eyes of more than 35,000 people on YouTube.

A Japanese astronaut on the moon in 2025

JAXA commented at the beginning of the month that if the module succeeds in its mission thanks to high-precision lunar landing technology, at a maximum distance of 100 meters from its target compared to several kilometers usually, it will be an “unprecedented” achievement. “The results should be used in international space exploration programs currently under study,” she added.

Kyodo reported on Sunday that a Japanese astronaut could set foot on the moon for the first time ever, in 2025 at the earliest, as part of the United States' manned Artemis missions.

Last August, India succeeded in landing its first spacecraft on the moon. Before that, only the United States, the Soviet Union, and China had achieved such an achievement. For its part, Russia failed in its new attempt, as its Luna-25 probe crashed last August on lunar soil.

A joint landing of the SLIM module on the lunar surface would be a welcome success for Jaxa, which has suffered a series of failures since last year.

Many recent failures

In November 2022, Japan had already attempted to place a small probe on the moon, launched on board the American Artemis 1 mission, but contact with “omotenashi” (“hospitality” in Japanese) was lost shortly after this probe was ejected into space. This is because its batteries failed.

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In April this year, a young private Japanese company, iSpace, failed to land its lunar module, which likely crashed onto the surface of Earth's natural satellite.

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