JAXA

Blogs about the Japanese space agency.

Image from the SLIM lander Moon landing simulation

It was the night between Friday and Saturday in Japan when the Japanese space agency JAXA’s SLIM lander attempted to land on the Moon but things got complicated. Only after a couple of hours, a press conference was held in which it was announced that the Moon landing was successful but there were some problems that could shorten the mission if SLIM fails to recharge its batteries. Meanwhile, Japan has become the fifth nation to put a robotic vehicle on the Moon.

The XRISM space telescope and the SLIM Moon lander blasting off atop an H-IIA rocket (Image courtesy JAXA)

A few hours ago, the Japanese XRISM space telescope and the SLIM Moon lander were launched from the Tanegashima space center atop an H-IIA rocket. After just over 14 minutes, XRISM separated from the rocket’s last stage and after about 48 minutes, SLIM did the same. XRISM will reach low Earth orbit, where it will position at an altitude of approximately 550 kilometers. SLIM started a much longer journey.

The Crew Dragon Endurance spacecraft approaching the International Space Station in its Crew-7 mission (Image NASA TV)

A little while ago, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endurance spacecraft docked with the Harmony module of the International Space Station completing the first part of its Crew-7 or SpaceX Crew-7 mission that began with its launch almost 30 hours earlier. After checking that the pressure gets properly balanced, the hatch will be opened to allow Jasmin Moghbeli, Andreas Mogensen, Satoshi Furukawa, and Konstantin Borisov to enter the Station and start their mission, which will last about six months.

SpaceX's Crew Dragon Endurance spacecraft blasting off atop a Falcon 9 rocket in its Crew-7 mission (Image NASA TV)

A little while ago, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endurance spacecraft blasted off atop a Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in its Crew-7 or SpaceX Crew-7 mission. After almost exactly twelve minutes, it successfully separated from the rocket’s last stage and went en route to carry out its mission. This is the 7th crewed mission of the Crew Dragon spacecraft within the normal rotation of the International Space Station crew. This is also the third mission for the Endurance. The launch takes place a day late because it took longer than expected to check the status of some valves of the life support system carried out after some of those of another Crew Dragon started corroding.

Ryugu, the Hayabusa 2 space probe and the molecules of uracil and vitamin B3

An article published in the journal “Nature Communications” reports the discovery of uracil, one of the bases of RNA, and niacin, i.e. vitamin B3, in the samples of asteroid Ryugu brought back to Earth by the Japanese Hayabusa 2 space probe. A team of researchers led by Yasuhiro Oba of Japan’s Hokkaido University developed an analytical technique to identify compounds in concentrations between parts per billion and parts per trillion to analyze just over 5 grams of samples.