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Japan's moon lander wasn't built to survive a weekslong lunar night; it's still going after 3

20 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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20 Comments
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Way to go, JAXA! Keep up the good work!

16 ( +18 / -2 )

良かった ね,

Good for JAXA . . . !

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Big congrats to the Japanese government and their agency JAXA on this incredible achievement! Jaws dropping all over the earth!

Another step closer to putting Japanese on the moon.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

What a nice thing to hear ! Really feel good when you read news like this.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Reminds me of the timex commercial. Takes.a licking and keeps on ticking.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Another step closer to putting Japanese on the moon.

Via NASA, of course.

-13 ( +4 / -17 )

Congratulations JAXA!

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Transformers on the Moon...keep on ticking!

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Great news. All credit to the JAXA team.

SpitfireToday 05:53 pm JST

Via NASA, of course.

Which is exactly what one would expect from the international team effort that is the Artemis program.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Why does it use such a crappy camera?

0 ( +6 / -6 )

CaptDingleheimerToday 08:35 pm JST

Why does it use such a crappy camera?

The picture might be from the Multiband Spectroscopic Camera, which is for mineral composition analysis rather than visual pictures.

https://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2021/pdf/2303.pdf

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The probe, Smart Lander for Investing Moon, or SLIM, reached the lunar surface on Jan. 20

It's not "Smart Lander for Investing Moon" but rather "Smart Lander for Investigating Moon."

https://global.jaxa.jp/countdown/slim_special_site.html

3 ( +4 / -1 )

RE: CaptDingleheimer

Why does it use such a crappy camera?

That so called crappy camera is operating under conditions that it was not designed for, i.e. Temperatures can fall to minus 170 degrees Celsius (minus 274 degrees Fahrenheit) during a lunar night, and rise to around 100 Celsius (212 Fahrenheit) during a lunar day.

Also "JAXA said on the social media platform X that SLIM's key functions are still working despite repeated harsh cycles of temperature changes. The agency said it plans to closely monitor the lander's deterioration."

Which would indicate that there is a lot to be learnt about equipment durability and functional range from this mission. Very far from being a failure, so thanks for the photos and all the effort JAXA.

gary

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Amazing.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

They had best send someone from city hall to make sure it's actually still functioning and not just receiving unwarranted media attention that could be better spent on actually functioning projects.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Excellent..

GO JAXA..

GO JAPAN!!..

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Why does it use such a crappy camera?

Space hardware isn't the same as what we can use from the shop down the street. The moon is outside the Van Allen belt, which protects the Earth from cosmic rays. Computers and optics need to be protected differently - part of that protection is to use "deep space rated" hardware, which is often 10-20 yrs old. This is so the thousands of tests can be performed in extremely environments.

There are so many assumptions for Earth-based equipment that just don't apply in space, it is hard to list them all. The ride into space isn't exactly smooth. It is usually rough and at 3+ gravities. Has your camera been tested to work after going through a shaker for 10 minutes and 3x gravity from normal? What if it is in the shade and nearly 200 deg below zero - frozen solid or in the sun and above boiling water temperatures? Can the battery handle that. The connectors, plastics or glass, Everything involved needs to handle those things.

Plus, the camera used may be shipping low-res images first, waiting for humans to request specific high-res images to save bandwidth. There is actually a standard for Interplanetary Internet https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interplanetary_Internet - I think the Moon can get 10 Mbps, but he latency is terrible and connectivity has to be passed off between different ground stations on Earth.

Lots of details for consideration. If they could grab a $5000 camera and put it on a pole, they would have. Those cameras wouldn't work by the time they were in orbit, however.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

To a couple of the people who responded to my "crappy camera" comment, I invite you to go look at the photos that Voyager 2 beamed back from its flyby of Neptune, 35 years ago.... photos shot by a camera on a spacecraft that is nearly half a century old. They are crisp, colorful images.

So I ask again: Why does it use such a crappy camera?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Japan's moon lander wasn't built to survive a weekslong lunar night

Well why not ?

Seems kinda silly

Forward thinking ?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I suspect you are confused about images in space.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Uranus_Voyager2_color_calibrated.png is what Voyager actually saw in "true color".

Voyager 2 images are highly, highly, processed before released. This is extremely common. If you think the actual colors a human eye would see flying passed it are accurate, I have bad news for you.

Photos are the main way that any space program keeps the public money coming. Of course, they make the released photos "pop". Why wouldn't they? Lots of paychecks depend on those images.

The JWT images are all processed, since it doesn't even capture visible light that a human can see. My looking in different wavelengths and from an orbit at the far side of the moon, JWT is "seeing" things more clearly that we've never seen before.

Anyway, spacecraft are built with lots of priorities competing for time and money. They are all made after many tens of thousands of compromises. After all, if they way 1 more year, or use 1 yr newer equipment, it will be so much better. That happens in all industries, but if you never launch/ship, you'll never learn anything (or get income).

The photo above does appear to be washed out a bit. Feel free to grab a copy and process it how you like. Perhaps reduce the contrast? IDK.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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