Nations and private sectors alike are scrambling to explore the moon in hopes of creating a new hub for mankind.
The race comes as research papers released in recent years suggest that there is water on the moon.
Japan is no exception. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, plans to launch a lunar lander from the Tanegashima Space Center in the southwestern prefecture of Kagoshima on Saturday.
The probe is called the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon, or SLIM. If successful, it would be Japan’s first lunar landing.
The probe will use image-recognition techniques to help identify craters and other topographical features. The lander aims to touch down within 100 meters of its target.
The journey to the lunar surface will take four to six months from liftoff.
Also on JAXA’s agenda is a joint launch with its Indian counterpart as early as April 2025. The planned unmanned lunar probe will look for deposits of ice in the southern polar region.
Source : NHK