In a significant development in the field of space exploration, Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has launched its much-anticipated lunar mission, “Moon Sniper”. This mission marks a crucial step in Japan’s space program, which is one of the world’s largest.
The centerpiece of the mission is the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM), a compact lunar lander designed to achieve a high-precision landing. The SLIM, standing 2.4 meters high, 2.7 meters wide, and 1.7 meters long, and weighing around 700 kilograms, is set to land within 100 meters of a specific target on the Moon.
The mission’s success could pave the way for future landings on celestial bodies with even scarcer resources than the Moon. The SLIM project, more than two decades in development, is focused on using advanced, image-based navigation technology and lightweight hardware.
The launch of the “Moon Sniper” comes on the heels of India’s historic lunar landing with its Chandrayaan-3 mission. Japan’s mission is not just about landing on the Moon but also about investigating how the Moon was formed by examining exposed pieces of the lunar mantle.
Despite facing challenges in previous attempts to land on the moon, JAXA remains optimistic about the “Moon Sniper” mission. The mission’s success would mark a significant milestone for Japan’s space program and could potentially revolutionize our understanding of the Moon.