GENERICO.ruScienceJapan decided to break the record for hitting the moon

Japan decided to break the record for hitting the moon

The SLIM apparatus should arrive on the earth's satellite at a precisely given place on New Year's Eve

The moon will soon be overcrowded. On August 23, the apparatus of the Indian mission “Chandrayan-3” did not have time to land on the moon, as the Japanese lunar module SLIM headed there, only not to the South Pole, but closer to the equator.

The SLIM device should arrive at the earth's satellite at exactly a predetermined place for the new yearPhoto: JAXA

Against the backdrop of the long-awaited landing of the Russian apparatus, and then the hard experience after its fall, the message of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) that their lunar flies only as a payload looks simply amazing. Despite the fact that SLIM (Smart Lander for Investigating Moon – “Smart Lander for Exploring the Moon”) should be the first lunar lander for the Japanese on the Moon, they treat it somehow in a businesslike way, as if they are sending such every day . To be more precise, two previous missions, the OMOTENASHI satellite and the HAKUTO-R module, were sent by Japan to our satellite last year, but both completed their journey unsuccessfully. Now – a new attempt.

The H-IIA rocket, carrying the XRISM X-ray telescope and the lunar SLIM into space, launched on September 7 at 2.42 Moscow time from the site of the Tanegashima Space Center. Started with a delay of 10 days – due to the weather. Both devices were successfully launched into their orbits.

First, a few words about the XRISM telescope. Scientists hope that it will unravel many mysteries of the universe through unique fine X-ray spectroscopy. In particular, it will be able to better “see” the very hot ionized gas in clusters of distant galaxies and understand how they evolve, and there is also hope to study the behavior of matter near the event horizon of black holes.

As for SLIM, it should approach the Moon in 3-4 months, and then after another month, soft landing in the Shioli crater (on the east side of the larger Kirill crater) on the visible side of the Moon. Shioli itself has a diameter of 300 meters, and the landing accuracy, if it is obtained by the specialists of the Land of the Rising Sun, will be a record – 100 meters (for example, Luna-25 and the Indians had an error within 3 km).

So, whether Japan will become the fifth country (after the USSR, the USA, China and India), which will be able to gently land its apparatus on the moon, we will find out just before the New Year. In the meantime, let's figure out what new, besides a soft landing, SLIM can bring to space science.

During the descent, it will be equipped with a terrain recognition system, which will help to avoid a collision with a large stone or rolling down a hill. After landing, two “lions” will literally roll out of the station, that is, two tiny lunar rovers “LEV-1” and “LEV-2”. The first will gently spring on the surface, the second will change shape when moving. It is assumed that LEV-1 will be endowed with the ability to send images of the Moon's surface directly to Earth, bypassing the main lander.

Recall that a few days ago, at the South Pole of the Moon, the Indian apparatus “Pragyan” (Cognition) “fell asleep” during the two-week lunar night. For two weeks of wakefulness, he transmitted data on the composition of the soil to Earth and measured its temperature, which turned out to be almost three times warmer than previously thought by scientists. Namely, it reached 70 degrees Celsius.

According to Alexander Bazilevsky, Chief Researcher of the Laboratory of Comparative Planetology of the Geochemical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, this result can be explained by the fact that the temperature probe of the Indian spacecraft measured the temperature in a place that was covered by the lander itself. He shielded the release of heat, which is why the temperature turned out to be so high. However, it should not be assumed that the entire surface of the Moon can heat up to 50-70 degrees, according to the scientist.

As for the chemical elements, according to the data that were published in the Indian press (the full scientific report has not yet been published), the Indian apparatus of America has not discovered. On the Moon, according to available data, they found signs of sulfur, aluminum, iron – all that had previously been detected by instruments from other countries.

Everyone was waiting for confirmation that there is water there from the apparatus that landed at the South Pole of the Moon. However, hydrogen, the main feature of water, was not found by the Indians. It turns out that this was not intended, because the devices installed on the Pragyan were not designed to study under the surface of the soil, where hydrogen can be detected. Our active detector of neutrons and gamma rays ADRON, installed on Luna-25, was “capable” of doing this, but, unfortunately, she could not deliver it to its destination.

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