After four failed tries, Japan finally successfully launched a rocket. On Thursday, September 6th, the nation’s goal was to launch a rocket carrying a lunar lander after many failed attempts due to weather. The “moon sniper” lander is scheduled to make a Moon landing attempt in February.
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The goal of the $100 million project is to prove that Tokyo can successfully land a small, inexpensive craft on the Moon as well as the United States, India, China, and Russia; Japan wants to be the fifth country to set foot on the Moon the previous year, Japan’s space program suffered setbacks, including two unsuccessful attempts to land on the Moon’s surface.
On the near side of the Moon, a Japanese spacecraft is expected to touch down within 100 meters of the Shioli crater. The satellite X-Ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission (XRISM) is a collaborative effort between the Japanese, European, and American space agencies, and it is being launched aboard this rocket. Within four months, the “moon sniper” will enter the Moon’s orbit. After orbiting the Moon for a month, an attempt at landing will be made in February.
The bus-sized telescope on the satellite has since separated from the lunar lander and is already in Earth orbit. Space phenomena like black holes will now be among those investigated.
Success on this scale for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has the potential to be an important turning point for Japan. After losing touch with its OMOTENASHI spacecraft in November, JAXA decided to cancel its Moon landing mission. So, it was crucial to get this most recent mission back on track.
What are your thoughts about the latest Japanese efforts in space to reach the lunar surface? Do you think they’ll fully succeed? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.