Japan postpones Moon landing; here’s why SLIM mission's rocket launch has to wait | Mint
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Business News/ Science / News/  Japan postpones Moon landing; here’s why SLIM mission's rocket launch has to wait

Japan postpones Moon landing; here’s why SLIM mission's rocket launch has to wait

Japan, which aims to be the fifth nation to land on the Moon, has postponed the launch of the lunar probe SLIM.

SLIM is developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) (X/@SPACEdotcom)Premium
SLIM is developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) (X/@SPACEdotcom)

Japan's scheduled launch of an H2A rocket carrying the lunar probe Smart Lander for Investigating the Moon (SLIM) was postponed due to unfavourable weather conditions, as reported by NHK. The launch was set to take place from the Tanegashima Space Centre in Kagoshima prefecture on August 28.

Developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the SLIM probe is a significant step for Japan's lunar exploration ambitions. It aims to achieve the country's first-ever lunar landing and conduct tasks such as analyzing Moon rocks and showcasing precise landing techniques.

Also Read: After Chandrayaan-3's success, Japan's space agency set to send rocket to Moon on Sunday. Here's what you should know

The SLIM mission is pivotal as it could make Japan the fifth nation globally to successfully land a probe on the Moon. This achievement would also contribute valuable data to the US-led Artemis program, which aims to facilitate crewed lunar missions.

Coinciding with the SLIM launch, the H2A rocket is also carrying the X-Ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission (XRISM), a collaborative effort between JAXA, NASA, and other organizations. This dual launch underscores Japan's commitment to advancing space research and exploration.

JAXA's preparations for the H2A launch included rigorous checks on shared components. This attention to detail aimed to alleviate concerns arising from the H3 rocket's less successful debut in March. 

Japan's Moon mission comes after India successfully landed Pragyaan rover via Vikram Lander on the Moon as a part of the Chandrayaan-3 mission by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

India’s Chandrayaan-3

Japan's aspirations in lunar exploration come at a time of notable achievements in the field. Just recently, India achieved a significant milestone with the successful landing of the Chandrayaan-3 lander module on the Moon's South Pole region.

This accomplishment marked India as the fourth nation, following the US, China and Russia, to achieve a successful lunar landing. It signified a triumphant rebound from the Chandrayaan-2 mission's crash landing four years earlier.

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Sounak Mukhopadhyay
Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and sports. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
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Published: 28 Aug 2023, 08:02 AM IST
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