Japan just set off on its first-ever lunar mission with ‘Moon Sniper’ satellite in historic launch 

The Moon Sniper has a very specific job once it enters the Moon's orbit.

by | Published on 7th Sep 2023

Japan has just set off on its first-ever mission to the Moon, proving the space race is officially back in full swing. 

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) made its historic first attempt to reach the Moon shortly before 9am local time on Thursday. 

And the lander, dubbed the ‘Moon Sniper’, has a very specific job.

READ MORE! India’s lander has discovered movement underneath surface of the Moon’s South Pole

Initially slated for launch last month, it had to be postponed three times due to bad weather conditions at the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan. 

Japan launched its ‘Smart Lander for Investigating Moon’ (SLIM) aboard the homegrown H-IIA rocket. 

It will take around three to four months for SLIM to enter the Moon’s orbit.

Once there, all eyes will be on the little Moon Sniper’s exact landing position. 

This is because the primary purpose of the $100 million mission is to test Japan’s technology for precise landings.

Japan aims to land within 100 meters of the Shioli Crater on the Moon’s near side. 

“The big objective of SLIM is to prove the high-accuracy landing… to achieve landing where we want on the lunar surface, rather than landing where we can,” JAXA President Hiroshi Yamakawa said. 

Just hours after launch, the Japanese space agency revealed it was receiving signals from SLIM, suggesting the launch was going to plan. 

If SLIM lands at the desired location, Japan’s space agency says it will be an exciting leap forward for future space travel.

READ MORE! Scientists design fuel making it possible for astronauts to live on the Moon

If the precision landing technology works as expected, Japan says it hopes to explore the solar system well beyond the Moon. 

The launch comes just two weeks after India made history by becoming the first country to ever land on the Moon’s South Pole. 



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Kate Bain is the Page Editor at supercarblondie.com. She is based in Dubai and coordinates coverage of the latest news across automotive, technology, and lifestyle. Kate has a bachelor's degree in business and post graduate in journalism. She is an experienced editor and journalist who has worked for News Corp, Daily Mail Australia, and Sky News. When she's not at work, you'll find her attached at the hip to her dog, Thor.

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