By Kantaro Komiya

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s space agency said on Monday its SLIM lunar lander unexpectedly survived a frigid lunar night and reestablished communication with Earth, more than a month after the spacecraft made a historic “on-time” landing. ” on the moon.

The Intelligent Moon Research Lander (SLIM) landed on the lunar surface last month, making Japan the fifth country to place a probe on the Moon. Odysseus, from US-based Intuitive Machines, did the same last week, as countries and companies race to the moon in search of resources and human habitation.

Shortly after landing 55 m (180 ft) from its target, just south of the moon’s equator, SLIM lost power because it had tipped over and its solar panels were at the wrong angle.

Its solar panels regained electricity more than a week later thanks to the change in the direction of sunlight. The operator, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, had previously said the probe was not designed to survive a lunar night.

(Reporting by Kantaro Komiya; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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