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The Japanese lunar rover's mission may be over forever, but it has sent one last image

The Japanese lunar rover's mission may be over forever, but it has sent one last image

The historically significant spacecraft is unlikely to survive the freezing lunar night.

The Japanese lunar probe called SLIM has been sent to sleep and may never wake up again, writes A Space.com website. The Japanese Aerospace Agency (JAXA) shared the last images taken by the device before it was shut down.

As 24.hu previously reported, SLIM landed on the Moon on January 19, but shortly after landing, experts noticed a fatal error: it was not able to generate enough electricity. As it turned out later thanks to the image, the lander landed on its nose, so not enough light reached the angled solar collectors. But later, when sunlight hit the device from a different direction, the lunar lander came back to life, meaning it was able to generate enough electricity to continue its mission.

SLIM then began examining the lunar surface with the help of its cameras. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency reported that its instruments went into sleep mode on January 31 as lunar night fell. At the same time, the last photo taken by the cameras was published.

JAXA

Right now, it's questionable whether SLIM will be able to survive the 14 or so days of the freezing lunar night, but it's unlikely it will. Either way, the Japanese consider the mission a success, and they make history with the SLIM landing: they become the fifth country to land on the surface of the celestial body after the United States, the Soviet Union, China and India.

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