back to article Japan recovers moon lander data, puts craft to sleep due to solar panels' bad attitude

Data from Japan's Smart Lander for Investigating the Moon has been downloaded, and the machine switched off – with just 12 percent of battery capacity remaining. The lander last week touched down successfully upon Luna – a mighty feat, seldom achieved. But not long afterwards trouble struck, as its solar panels weren't …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seems like it’s


    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Seems like it’s

      Not quite, though the night is really cold so it might be banjaxed later.

      Still a great achievement.

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: Seems like it’s

        "the night is really cold so it might be banjaxed later."

        Absolutely will be - it was never planned to survive a lunar night.

    2. simonlb Silver badge

      Re: Seems like it’s

      Slim Shady?

  2. Sora2566 Bronze badge

    Darn. Hopefully they can get it working again... if not, glad they got *something* out of it.

  3. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    Any news of the little rovers the lander deployed?

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      I understand that LEV-1 has autonomous direct to earth comms and it also relays comms for LEV-2.

      As far as I know, these two are working and they will be used to photograph the SLIM lander which seems to have suffered a rotation about at least one of its axes on landing. I believe that the data downloads for images will take some time.

      1. KittenHuffer Silver badge

        "suffered a rotation about at least one of its axes on landing" - In layman's terms, it fell over!

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Don't know if it fell over, it was actually meant to land on a different side down compared to the in flight orientation, so if one of the landing legs contacted the ground or an obstruction before the other, it may have landed correctly on its legs but turned. But perhaps it did a slow motion fall onto one side. I don't know how weight is distributed within the chassis but it does have a top heavy look to it.

        2. John Robson Silver badge

          If you do a three point turn has your car fallen over?

          1. MiguelC Silver badge

            It'll depend on how close to a cliff you are when you start

            1. John Robson Silver badge

              *and* how careless (or carless?) you are.

  4. tony72

    Technically, it was meant to fall over. Their idea was that rather than having to have big long landing legs extending beyond the engine nozzles etc on the bottom of the lander, they would get to just above the deck, and then induce a rotation so as to intentionally fall over onto short stubby landing legs on the side of the lander. While that seemed quite a clever way to simplify the design of the lander and save weight, it also seemed potentially fraught with potential for mishaps, and I guess we'll find out, but it seems that manoeuvre indeed did not exactly go as planned. Did they mistime the rotation and rotate too far before hitting the deck? Did they bounce and roll? Did they manage to land on uneven terrain? I hope we get to find out.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      I think the rotation was intended to be initiated by contact on the sloping edge of the inside of the crater. But one foot contacting first on a raised surface feature, would be interesting to see how they planned to cope with that.

      1. Dizzy Dwarf

        Risky design choice - planning for it to fall on its side in 'just the right way'.

      2. Francis Boyle Silver badge

        The slope is only 15 degrees and the engine bell is quite large so I doubt that was the plan. AIUI it had to perform the rotation before touchdown. If the timing was off even slightly the bell would have touched the ground with predictably unpredictable consequences.

  5. Jim Birch

    Power later?

    If "SLIM's solar panels are facing west" they should get sun later in the month.

    1. Lyndication

      Re: Power later?

      Gotta hope the onboard electronics survive the cold of the Moon first.

      I think there's also an element of incline in its current position, at the edge of a crater, so it's possible it'll only start getting light later in the lunar day.

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