On Wednesday, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) announced that Japan had launched a rocket toward the moon to become the fifth nation to land on the lunar surface. After the United States, Russia, China, and India, Japan would be the fifth nation to set foot on the moon if this mission is successful.
According to the agency, future expeditions to the moon and even other planets might benefit from this demonstration.
After being delayed three times due to weather between August 25 and September 1, the H-IIA rocket finally took off from Tanegashma Space Center on one of Japan’s southern islands at 7:42 p.m. ET.
The rocket’s SLIM (Smart Lander for Investigating the Moon) and XRISM (X-ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission) spacecraft disengaged shortly after liftoff.
According to JAXA, SLIM will attempt a lunar landing with pinpoint precision, coming within 100 meters (328 feet) of its intended spot.
On the 23rd of August, India joined the ranks of the other three nations that have successfully landed a spacecraft on the moon. This is the first nation to do this at the lunar south pole. The spacecraft will remain in orbit for two weeks to gather data and conduct experiments.
Russia’s Luna-25 spacecraft, attempting a mission identical to India’s, crashed into the moon’s surface on August 19 after losing touch. NASA released photos showing a crater on Luna 25 with a depth of 33 feet.
JAXA calls XRISM a space observatory that hopes to determine the abundance of elements in galaxies and stars and in space plasma, which consists of ionized gases and is the fourth state of matter.
The government claims that XRISM will provide new light on how stars, galaxies, and groupings of galaxies come together to build larger structures.