Japanese rover photographs SLIM spacecraft on the lunar surface

A Japanese rover named as the Lunar Excursion Vehicle 2 (LEV-2 / SORA-Q) has successfully photographed the SLIM spacecraft on the lunar surface.

Japanese rover LEV-2 photographs SLIM spacecraft on the lunar surface
Japanese rover LEV-2 photographs SLIM spacecraft on the lunar surface. (Image credit: JAXA)

Japan’s space agency, Jaxa has shared the image of SLIM spacecraft through press briefing which held on Thursday, January 25, at 12 a.m. EST (or 05:00 UTC).

The image of Lunar Excursion Vehicle 2 (LEV-2 / SORA-Q) shows how SLIM sits on the lunar surface.

The SLIM spacecraft carried the Lunar Excursion Vehicle 2 (LEV-2 / SORA-Q) robot to the lunar surface.

Lunar Excursion Vehicle 2 (LEV-2) is in crawling mode
Lunar Excursion Vehicle 2 (LEV-2) is in crawling mode which photographed the SLIM spacecraft. (Image credit: JAXA)

The ball-shaped rover has a diameter of approximately 8 cm and a mass of approximately 250 g. It is equipped with two cameras and can change its shape to run on the lunar surface.

“LEV-2 is the world’s first robot to conduct fully autonomous exploration on the lunar surface,” Japan’s space agency, Jaxa, said in a statement.

“The above image confirms the transformation of LEV-2 from a closed-sphere to a mobility-enabled mode.”

Currently, the spacecraft has been kept shut down intentionally on the lunar surface as its solar cells are not generating power and are facing west.

So there is a possibility to revive the spacecraft when the sun will shine from the west.

The recovery of SLIM will continue to be attempted as the angle of the sunlight changes on the lunar surface, according to the latest report from Jaxa.

Related article: Japan hopes sunlight can revive the nation’s first successful moon lander

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Ashim

Ashim Chandra Sarkar founded Space & Telescope in 2022. He holds a M.Sc. in physics and has five years of research experience in optical astronomy. His passion for astronomy inspired him to open this website. He is responsible for the editorial vision of spaceandtelescope.com.

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