10:20 AM Tomorrow (Friday) Japan attempts soft moon landing

From Space.com

Japan’s robotic SLIM spacecraft will attempt to pull off the nation’s first-ever successful moon landing on Friday morning (Jan. 19), and you can watch the action live.

SLIM (short for “Smart Lander for Investigating Moon”) is scheduled to begin its touchdown operations Friday at 10 a.m. EST (1500 GMT; midnight on Jan. 20 Japan time), with a soft landing on the moon occurring 20 minutes later, if all goes according to plan.

You can watch it live here at Space.com, courtesy of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or directly via JAXA. Coverage will begin at 9 a.m. EST (1400 GMT; 11 p.m. Japan time). . . . .


So far four countries have had successful soft moon landings
The US
the Old USSR
China, &

the EU
Modern Russia, &
have all had successful orbits and hard-impact landings.

The “big deal” about this attempt is that Japan believes it can and will achieve a pinpoint landing, successfully determining the exact landing spot within 100 meters. Until now, all successful attempts targeted anything within 100 kilometers of their intended target.

Good luck and Godspeed Japan
Ganbare, soshi-te shinsoku Nihon

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hopefully it works

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Success! . . . but . . .


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safe soft landing is good… running out of fuel with no way to re-energize not so good, hopefully they can point it towards the sun…

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No charging stations around there (yet).

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Japan became the fifth nation to land on the moon on Saturday, but its spacecraft ended up in an awkward position, with its engine nozzle pointed up toward space.

By design, the Japanese spacecraft, known as Smart Lander for Investigating Moon, or SLIM, was supposed to land on its side, a strategy to avoid tipping over on the sloped terrain of the landing site.

But about 150 feet above the ground, one of SLIM’s two main engines appears to have failed, officials at JAXA, the Japanese space agency, said on Thursday.

With the onboard computer trying to compensate for the sudden loss of half of the thrust, the spacecraft was still able to hit the ground at a modest vertical velocity of about 3 miles per hour. . . .

. . . As a result, the spacecraft rolled onto its head. It escaped the fate of some other recent robotic missions, which smashed into pieces on the moon, and its systems worked, communicating with Earth. But the solar panels ended up facing west, away from the lunar morning sun, and were unable to generate electricity. With the battery mostly drained, mission controllers on Earth sent a command to shut down the spacecraft less than three hours after landing.

Despite the stumble, the mission accomplished its primary goal: a soft landing in rugged terrain on the moon, within 100 meters of a target landing site, much more precise than the uncertainty of miles that most landers aim for. . . .

“We confirmed that the landing position was 55 meters away from the initial target. So we concluded that we achieved the 100-meter-accuracy pinpoint landing.” . . .

Two small rovers ejected from SLIM just before landing both moved around the lunar surface, and one of them snapped a photograph of the upside-down lander. . . .

This reminds me of a meme I shared before the post season.

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Ya know . . . it’s possible that the Japanese landed their lunar module upside down because they’re on the other side of the earth (You know, so, it’s right side up for them.)

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Your logic is undeniable.

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