Against all Odds. Japan’s SLIM Lander Survived a Second Lunar Night Upside Down

You might remember the SLIM lunar lander that managed to land upside-down! The probe from the Japanese Space Agency has survived its second night on the Moon and returns a new photograph. Despite the solar panels pointing away from the Sun during the day it was still able to capture the image and transmit to …

Surprise! Japan’s SLIM Moon Lander Wakes Up After a Freezing Night

Japan’s space agency didn’t expect its wrong-side-up SLIM moon lander to revive itself after powering down for a circuit-chilling lunar night on Feb. 1. But that’s exactly what happened. “Last night, a command was sent to SLIM and a response received, confirming that the spacecraft has made it through the lunar night and maintained communication …

Japan’s Lunar Lander Survives its Third Lunar Night

Space travel and exploration was never going to be easy. Failures are sadly all too common but it’s wonderful to see missions exceed expectations. The Japanese Space Agency’s SLIM lunar lander was only supposed to survive a single day but it’s survived three brutal, harsh lunar nights and is still going. The temperatures plummet to …

Japan's New H3 Rocket Successfully Blasts Off

Japan successfully tested its new flagship H3 rocket after an earlier version failed last year. The rocket lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Center on Saturday, February 17, reaching an orbital altitude of about 670 kilometers (420 miles). It deployed a set of micro-satellites and a dummy satellite designed to simulate a realistic payload. With …

Japan Moon Lander Sleeps After Sending Science — Will It Wake Up Again?

After a few days of wakefulness, Japan’s SLIM moon lander has gone dormant once more at the start of a 14-day-long lunar night. The upended robot sent back a stream of data and imagery while its solar cells were in position to soak up sunlight, and its handlers hope they can get SLIM to wake …

Japan’s Moon Lander Is Lying On Its Side After Hitting Its Target

Now we know why Japan’s lunar lander wasn’t able to recharge its batteries after touching down on the moon last week: The spacecraft appears to have tumbled onto its side, with its solar cells facing away from the sun. The good news is that the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon, or SLIM, achieved its primary …

Japan’s Moon Lander Touches Down, But Power Problem Mars Its Mission

Update for Jan. 21: The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency shut down its moon lander to conserve battery power, but says the lander might be recharged and revived if sunlight hits the solar cells at the right angle. Japan has become the fifth nation to land a functioning robot on the moon, but the mission could …

Slime Mold Grows the Same as the Large Scale Structure of the Universe

Matter in the Universe is not distributed equally. It’s dominated by super-clusters and the filaments of matter that string them together, surrounded by huge voids. Galaxy super-clusters are at the top of the hierarchy. Inside those is everything else: galaxy groups and clusters, individual galaxies, and solar systems. This hierarchical structure is called the “Cosmic …