Japan Becomes Fifth Country to Land a Spacecraft on the Moon Written 22 January 2024


Computer simulation of Japan's SLIM spacecraft landing on the moon. | Credit: SkyNews; YouTube; frame grab

ABC News reports “Japan became the fifth country in history to reach the moon” when one of its uncrewed spacecrafts “successfully made a soft landing on the lunar surface early Saturday.”  Japan's Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) touched down within the Shioli crater at 10:20 a.m. Eastern, Jan. 19 (12:20 a.m. JST, Jan. 20). JAXA confirmed the successful landing approximately two hours later. Japanese space officials “said the craft's solar panel had failed to generate power, which could shorten its activity on the moon.”  Japan joins the US, China, the Soviet Union, and India as all having made it to the lunar surface.
Full Story (ABC News)