Awaiting the Sun: Japan’s SLIM Lander Powers Down on the Moon

Slim Lander Render 1
Japan’s first lunar lander has officially powered down on the moon after its solar cells were unable to generate electricity, though the nation’s space agency said there is a possibility of turning things around when the direction of the sun’s rays change. Japan made history last week when its lander, called Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM), successfully touched down on the moon’s surface last week. Shortly after landing, directors of the mission explained that while the soft landing was a minimal success, the spacecraft’s solar cells were not generating power. “According to the telemetry data, SLIM’s solar cells are facing west,” the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said in the update. Japan can count a handful of other major wins in the mission, even if the solar cells never manage to charge up sufficiently for a recovery operation.