TOKYO — Japan turned the fifth nation in historical past to succeed in the moon when its spacecraft landed on the lunar floor early Saturday, officers mentioned.
However officers nonetheless have been making an attempt to find out whether or not they might classify the feat as a complete success, as a result of they wanted extra time to research whether or not the spacecraft, which wasn’t carrying astronauts, made a pinpoint touchdown. There is also a difficulty with the ability provide.
Hitoshi Kuninaka, head of the Institute of Area and Astronautical Science, mentioned they imagine that rovers have been launched and knowledge have been being transmitted again to Earth. However the lander could have an issue with its solar energy panels, and seems to be working solely on batteries for the second.
Kuninaka mentioned he believes they at the least achieved “minimal” success.
The Sensible Lander for Investigating Moon, or SLIM, landed at about 12:20 a.m. Tokyo time on Saturday (1520 GMT Friday).
There was a tense look forward to information after the Japan area company’s mission management initially mentioned that SLIM was on the lunar floor, however that it was nonetheless “checking its standing.” No additional particulars got till a information convention almost two hours later.
Japan follows america, the Soviet Union, China and India in reaching the moon.