Moon Sniper currently orbits the Moon approximately every 6.4 hours. However, its orbit will gradually narrow over the coming weeks and get closer and closer to the surface of the moon in preparation for the historic landing attempt scheduled to take place in mid-January.
If successful, Japan will join a very small group as the fifth country to land on the moon.
Currently, China and India are the only countries that have safely landed a vehicle on the moon this century.
The Japanese rover aims to make a precise landing and collect data on lunar rocks that will help scientists better understand how the moon formed.
The Moon Sniper lander will attempt to land at 12:20 a.m. JST on January 20.
The unit will target a landing zone approximately 100 meters long, a target much smaller than the typical kilometer range, earning it the nickname Moon Sniper for its accuracy. If the mission is successful, it is expected to explore an area near a small impact crater called Shiuli, near the Apollo 11 landing site where NASA astronauts first landed in 1969.
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