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SLIM – Smart Lander for Investigating the Moon

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Updated Planned Landing Location: Shioli Crater

As of 2nd January 2024, the Japanese SLIM robotic spacecraft is now in a Lunar Polar Orbit (600 x 4,000 kilometers) and is preparing for a precision moon landing on Janaury 19th 2024, within 100 meters on the slopes of the Shioli crater.

The goal of the precision landing at Shioli crater is to observe the mineral olivine and the ejecta around the crater. What is distinctive about Shioli crater is the bright ejecta around the rim, which originated from about 20 meters beneath the surface. This ejecta is bright and thus fresh, and has not experienced the effects of space weathering. This will be of interest.

After landing, SLIM will release two rovers, or Lunar Excursion Vehicles:

  • LEV-1 will demonstrate a hopping mechanism, ideal for bouncing along the low-Lunar gravity surface.
  • LEV-2 is baseball sized and shaped rover.

Image above: The upcoming Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) lunar lander will touchdown in the vicinity of Shioli crater (center foreground, 210-meter diameter). The bright interior and rays indicate a very young age for this crater and the unnamed crater (85-meter diameter) seen in the upper left. M1249431011LR [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University] Source:

Previous Assumed Location: Marius Hills “Hole”

Estimated Landing year: 2022
Possible Target: Lava Tubes. Visit NASA Marius Hills and a Hole in the Moon: Could humans live beneath the surface on the Moon, for more information.

Visit the JAXA website for information.

Source: JAXA

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