Tokyo, Nov 22 (EFE).- Japan’s space agency said Tuesday that it has given up on landing the world’s smallest lunar probe and the country’s first, Omotenashi, on the surface of the moon.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said the unmanned lunar lander was unable to receive transmissions from Earth to correct its trajectory and position as its solar panels were oriented away from the sun and hence it couldn’t charge its batteries.
Top government spokesperson Hirokazu Matsuno said Tuesday that the space agency was attempting to fix the probe’s position in order to regain its stability and access to energy.
He added that the craft also had the objective of measuring radiation levels in space and was attempting to regain that function.
JAXA was aiming for the box-shaped lander, which is 11 centimeters long, 24 centimeters wide and 37 centimeters high and weighs 12.6 kilograms (28 pounds), to become the country’s first probe to land on the moon’s surface.
The Omotenashi is one of ten CubeSat nanosatellites carried into space by the unmanned Artemis I mission that took off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral in Florida last week.
The spacecrafts will conduct several scientific experiments in space.
This is the first mission of the Artemis program seeking to establish a human base on the Moon in an attempt to reach Mars.
NASA’s last mission in which its astronauts set foot on the Moon was Apollo 17, which was conducted between Dec.7 and 19, 1972. EFE