JAXA’s ‘Moon Sniper’ Missed its Mark Written 26 January 2024


Shinichiro Sakai, Project Manager for Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM), provides updates on the status of its spacecraft, including whether it successfully made a "pinpoint landing" on the Moon Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024, in Tokyo. | Credit: Eugene Hoshiko; Associated Press–©

CNN reports that Japan’s space agency “said Thursday that its ‘moon sniper’ robotic explorer landed 55 meters (165 feet) from its target on the lunar surface last week, calling it a ‘significant achievement’ despite problems during the landing that put the mission in jeopardy.” The Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) mission “reached the moon’s surface just after 10:20 a.m. ET (12:20 a.m. Saturday Japan Standard Time) on January 19, according to data shared by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.” During its descent, the spacecraft experienced “some kind of anomaly” at a “distance of around 50 meters (165 feet) above the surface, JAXA officials said in a news conference.” The thrust from “one of the main engines was lost as a result, forcing the spacecraft to land on its nose with its ‘main engine facing upward and in an almost vertical position.’”
Full Story (CNN)