The Japanese Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM), which is scheduled to make a soft landing on the Moon in January, has flown over the surface of the Earth’s natural satellite. About it reports SpaceNews.
The publication writes that on October 4, the device flew at a relative speed of 1.47 kilometers per second at a distance of less than five thousand kilometers from the surface of the Moon. Currently, the module continues to be in an elongated lunar orbit.
The launch of the H-IIA rocket with the SLIM module took place on September 7 from the Tanegashima Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern prefecture of Kagoshima.
The 200-kilogram SLIM module reaches a height of 2.4 meters. The main purpose of the device is to study the relief of the lunar surface and determine the elemental composition of rocks on the Earth’s natural satellite.
If the SLIM mission is successful, Japan will become the fifth country in the world to achieve a soft landing on the lunar surface. Previously, this capability was demonstrated by the USSR, USA, China and India.