January 25, 2024 (JST)
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
The University of Aizu
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), along with the University of Aizu and Ritsumeikan University, has released images captured by the Multi-Band Camera (MBC) onboard the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM).
Figure 1: a lunar surface scan mosaic image captured by the SLIM-mounted MBC (left) and its enlarged view (right). The grey area on the right of the mosaic lacks data due to the discontinuation of scanning operation.
After the lunar landing and before shutting down of the spacecraft power, MBC released the locking mechanism to withstand the impact upon launch and landing, then conducted scanning operations. The scanning is performed by moving the adjustable mirror and is for preliminary examination of the rocks of scientific interest that are situated around the SLIM landing site. Figure 1 shows a landscape image created by synthesizing 257 low-resolution monochrome pictures. Based on this landscape image, the team is sorting out rocks of interest, assigning a nickname to each of them, with intent of communicating their relative sizes smoothly by the names. Preparation is underway to promptly conduct 10-band high-resolution spectroscopic observations once the solar illumination condition improves and SLIM recovers by the power generated by the solar array.