TOKYO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TOKYO:6503) announced today that the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM), a spacecraft developed by the company under contract with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), successfully achieved a high-precision landing on the lunar surface at 00:20 a.m. (Japan Standard Time) on January 20.
Data collected by JAXA confirmed that the precision touchdown was just 55 meters east of the target landing point, a level of accuracy that far surpasses that of conventional lunar landings, which are typically within several kilometers of their targets, making this an unprecedented achievement. High-precision landing technology for the precise positioning of spacecraft will become increasingly important for future lunar and planetary exploration.
Mitsubishi Electric was awarded a contract in 2015 with primary responsibility for the design, manufacture and testing of the SLIM at the company’s Kamakura Works in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. In collaboration with JAXA, Mitsubishi Electric also developed the guidance, navigation and control (GNC) system used for high-precision landings. The GNC system’s various sensors, including a camera and radar, onboard computer and software, allow the SLIM to autonomously estimate its position and attitude as well as make necessary corrections during flight. Equipped with an image navigation system developed by JAXA, which includes an image navigation algorithm and camera, the GNC system can estimate its position by taking images of the lunar surface to identify the locations of craters.
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