South Korea’s moon orbiter snaps India’s lander

The landing site of India’s Chandrayaan-3 Moon mission is shown in a picture captured by South Korea’s Danuri Moon orbiter, according to the country’s science ministry.…

On August 27, four days after Chandrayaan-3 became India’s first successful Moon landing and the first ever touchdown at the natural satellite’s south pole, the lunar orbiter’s side gig as a space paparazzi saw it take the picture. A distance of roughly 100 kilometers was used to take the photo.

South Korea's moon orbiter snaps India's lander

Danuri’s job includes taking pictures of probable lunar landing locations, therefore taking pictures of the Moon’s south pole was very much mission-critical.

This December, the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) and Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) announced that they would publish further images of Danuri’s work, including probable lunar landing sites, five different types of element maps, the Moon’s radioactive environment, and more. The lunar orbiter will have been in use for two years by the end of December 2024, when it is expected to stop operating.

Another Asian space agency, Japan’s JAXA, said that the critical operation period for its X-ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission (XRISM) had ended after the spacecraft successfully switched on, communicated with ground control, and achieved adequate attitude control.

The three-month commission phase, which includes confirming the functionality of the satellite’s onboard machinery so that it can monitor the X-ray universe, has begun for the joint NASA and JAXA mission.

South Korea's moon orbiter snaps India's lander

The IDEFIX rover, part of JAXA’s still Earth-side Martian Moons eXploration (MMX) payload, was on exhibit this week at a media event in Toulouse. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) and France’s CNES National Center for Space Studies (CNES) are the sources of the 30 kg rover.

The IDEFIX spacecraft is outfitted with cameras, a radiometer, and a Raman spectrometer in order to reach Phobos, a moon of Mars.

The SLIM lunar lander mission, which will take a few months to reach Luna before attempting a landing, is another project that JAXA is monitoring.

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