World’s smallest moon lander: Scientific Report

Japan launched country’s first and the world’s smallest moon lander, OMOTENASHI, which is made by Japan’s space agency, JAXA. Apart from the Orion spacecraft Artemis 1 carried some other probes and satellites developed by space agencies around the world. Artemis 1 marked the fifth attempt for the missions as four attempts were unsuccessful since August because of weather and technical reasons.

OMOTENASHI is one of the ten CubeSat nanosatellites carried into space by the Artemis I mission, Measuring 11 centimeters long, 24 wide and 37 high and has a mass of 14 kg. This craft is one of the secondary payloads of the Artemis I mission test flight and is set to land on the Moon’s surface at 180 kilometres per hour. The devices will perform various scientific investigations. Apart from OMOTENASHI Artemis 1 has carried some another Japanese nanosatellite, EQUAULEUS which is heading to the hidden face of the moon.

OMOTENASHI have used a cold gas thruster to enter a lunar-impact orbit and a solid rocket motor for the landing phase. After the deceleration rocket burn that will last for few seconds, OMOTENASHI’s lander will eject the retrorocket, experiencing a free-fall of about 100 m. This project has been designed to map the plasmasphere around the Earth to study the radiation environment of the region between the planet and its natural satellite, through this we will be able to project human being and other things.

The spacecraft features two deployable solar panels and lithium ion batteries. After measuring the radiation environment as it approaches the Moon, OMOTENASHI’s lander module will perform a semi-hard landing on the lunar surface.

OMOTENASHI aims to become the first Japanese lander to land on the surface of the Moon. There is a probability of 60% that the device will be able to transmit radio waves to Earth after reaching the moon.

The cubical satellite will also travel to deep space with EQUULEUS which is also a Japanese nanosatellite designed to study the far side of the Moon. The spacecraft is expected to reach Lagrange Point 2 which is an Earth-Moon orbit position. JAXA believes that this orbital point can become an optimal base for advanced space development.

JAXA, the space agency, has been studying how to efficiently reach this orbital point as it could become an optimal base for advanced space development.