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JAXA scrubs launch of X-Ray telescope & SLIM lunar lander due to high winds

SLIM's landing zone
Click for interactive map.

Because of high winds, Japan’s space agency JAXA yesterday scrubbed the last launch of its H2A rocket, carrying the XRISM X-Ray telescope and the SLIM lunar lander.

A nice description of both payloads can be found here. XRISM is a simplified reflight of the Hitomi X-Ray telescope that failed immediately after launch in 2016.

Though SLIM carries a camera and two secondary payloads, both designed to hop along on the surface and obtain some data, its main mission is engineering, testing whether a robotic spacecraft can achieve a precision landing with a target zone of 100 meters, or 310 feet. The map to the right shows SLIM’s landing site, with the white dot in the close-up inset a rough approximation of that entire target zone. If successful this technology will make it possible to put unmanned planetary probes in places previously thought too dangerous or rough.

All three craft are designed to operate for only about fourteen days, during the daylight hours of the 28-Earth-day-long lunar day.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

 

The print edition can be purchased at Amazon. Or you can buy it directly from the author and get an autographed copy.

 
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The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.
 

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News

2 comments

  • David Ross

    Oof, they still haven’t told us when they’ll try again.
    28 days?

  • David Ross: Orbital mechanics are clearly the cause of the delay in announcing a new launch date. The spacecraft needs to arrive soon after sunrise on the Moon to take advantage of the entire daylight portion of the lunar day.

    At the same time, SLIM is going to take months to get to the Moon and be in orbit for a month once there. It seems this should give them a lot of margin for launch dates.

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