Two toppled moon landers go dormant for a lunar night they may not survive

Lunar night is here again, providing yet another test for the two landers that recently landed on the lunar surface. Both Japan’s SLIM spacecraft and Intuitive Machines’ Odyssey have gone to sleep for two weeks of darkness, the two teams confirmed later this week. There is no guarantee that they will be able to resume later, but they will try to restore the connection when the time comes.

Although solar-powered landers aren’t built to withstand the cold lunar night, SLIM, which has been on the moon since January 19, has already beaten the odds. to wrap up last month. This will be the first lunar night for Odysseus, who landed on February 22nd.

The missions are further examples of how difficult it is to land on the Moon, even though they were successful with the spacecraft surviving their respective surface landings; both ramps collapsed and remained in non-ideal positions. SLIM face-plantedand Odysseus broke one of his legs and fell to the side.

SLIM was able to capture several images from the surface, and the team shared another view of the Shioli crater from its perspective on Thursday before it was extinguished. Odysseus also sent home some images from its wide-angle camera, including a final transmission showing part of the lander before lunar night and the surface of the Moon, with the small crescent Earth in the distance. But the world was eagerly awaiting third-person POV images from EagleCam by students at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University who were on a voyage with Odysseus. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to happen at this point.

The camera was not positioned as planned before the moment of touch and Intuitive Machines said this week Once Odysseus reaches the surface, the team is able to launch it, but so far the camera connection is not working. “The Embry-Riddle team is working on it and wrestling with it to see if there’s anything they can do,” Intuitive Machines CEO Steve Altemus said Wednesday. The onset of a lunar night won’t help those odds.

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