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Monday, February 26, 2024

Japan joins Moon race with successful rocket launch

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In a spectacular achievement, Japan has successfully launched a rocket carrying its lunar lander named the “moon sniper.” This significant development propels Japan into the race to become the fifth nation to achieve a lunar landing. Tokyo’s ability to land a spacecraft on the Moon affordably is on display with this $100 million project.

Following a year of numerous difficulties for Japan’s space programs, the launch is now taking place.

The launch comes after Japan faced multiple setbacks in its space endeavors over the past year. This includes a series of failures such as lost contact with prior spacecraft and rocket launch blunders. Despite these hurdles, the recent launch success marks a significant triumph for Japan’s space program.

Apart from the moon mission, the rocket also bore the X-Ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission (XRISM) satellite. This sophisticated piece of technology, a collaborative effort involving Japanese, American, and European space agencies, is designed with a bus-sized telescope. Its primary purpose? To delve deep into the mysteries of space and study phenomena such as black holes. This satellite not only underscores the technological advancements of Japan’s space program but also represents international collaboration in the quest for space knowledge.

The “moon sniper” is expected to touch down on the Moon’s surface in February. Japan wants to join the exclusive group of nations that have accomplished this incredible feat as the world watches. While a small number of global superpowers have previously controlled the space race. Japan’s most recent accomplishment highlights the shifting power balance.

Even in the face of earlier disappointments, the nation’s ability to land a cost effective spaceship on the Moon demonstrates its tenacity and technological achievements.

The launch was successful after a string of flops during the previous year.

When JAXA’s OMOTENASHI spacecraft lost contact in November of last year, the Moon landing mission was abandoned. More recently, in April, a private Japanese start-up called iSpace lost contact with the spacecraft and was unable to land its Hakuto-R lander.

Two test rocket launches have also failed this year. The most recent of which resulted in an explosion in July due to an engine failure.

In the coming months, as the “moon sniper” nears its destination, all eyes will undoubtedly be on Japan. Will it succeed in its lunar landing? Only time will tell. But for now, Japan has given its citizens and space enthusiasts worldwide a reason to look up at the Moon with hope and wonder.

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