(2024/02/19 出刊)
日本登月成功 全球第5國

  On January 20th at 12:20 a.m. Japan Standard Time, Japanese spacecraft SLIM made a historic landing on the surface of the Moon. Japan is now the fifth country to put a lander on the moon, after the US, the Soviet Union, China and India.
  SLIM is short for “Smart Lander for Investigating Moon”. It’s also called the “moon sniper”. It is 2.4 meters tall and weighs about 200 kg excluding fuel. With unprecedented precision, it landed less than 100 meters from intended targets. In contrast, conventional landers often have an accuracy of landing within several kilometers.
  The mission was described as a success despite the fact that the probe initially landed upside down. This left its solar batteries facing the wrong direction so it was unable to generate electricity. It regained power almost nine days after its touchdown thanks to a change in the sunlight’s direction.
  SLIM is designed to search clues about the origin of the Moon. It will also test technology fundamental to exploration in low-gravity environments.

 SLIM 的全名是「智慧型登月探測器」。它也被暱稱為「月球狙擊手」。SLIM 高2.4 公尺,不含燃料的重量約200公斤。它以前所未見的精準度著陸在月球表面,距離預定目標不到100 公尺。傳統登月探測器的精準度通常是在幾公里以內,遠不如新型探測器。
 這次登月任務算是成功,儘管SLIM 一開始是倒栽蔥著陸,導致太陽能電池板無法正確對準太陽的方向,而無法發電。所幸因太陽方向改變,探測器在著陸近9 天後恢復發電。