Japan’s ‘Moon Sniper’ makes successful  pinpoint landing

Japan was successful in making an unusually precise moon landing just metres from its target, its space agency has announced.

The country on Saturday became the fifth to put a spacecraft on the moon when its so-called “Moon Sniper” lander touched down on the lunar surface.

On Thursday, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency [JAXA] said it had received all data about the landing of its Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) probe within 2 hours and 37 minutes after the touchdown.

The mission aimed to land within 100 metres (328 feet) of its target, bettering the conventional accuracy figure of several kilometres.

The target was a crater where the moon’s mantle, a deep inner layer, is believed to be exposed on the surface.

JAXA also published its first colour images from the mission depicting the aircraft sitting at a slight angle on the moon’s rocky grey surface, with rising slopes in the distance.

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