Japan's Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) has been resurrected over a week after it ran out of power following its troubled lunar touchdown on January 19th, which left it upside-down with its solar panels facing the wrong way.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) announced that communication with the SLIM spacecraft has been re-established, and operations to investigate the Moon's origins have resumed.
JAXA had predicted that a change in sunlight direction could recharge the probe's battery from its awkwardly angled solar panels. However, it's uncertain how long this power will last, as SLIM was not designed to survive a lunar night, which is fast approaching.
While SLIM faced challenges during its landing, with one of its main engines failing, causing it to tumble over, the mission itself was considered a success. It showcased vision-based "pinpoint" landing technology, landing within just 180 feet of its target, and making Japan the fifth nation to achieve a soft lunar touchdown.
Images captured by SLIM's cameras before it ran out of power were released, providing valuable lunar data. This achievement solidifies Japan's position in lunar exploration alongside the US, China, India, and the former Soviet Union.
Despite its upside-down landing, SLIM's mission continues, and JAXA is closely monitoring its status.