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Tiny robots are the heroes of the failed SLIM lunar mission

Tiny robots are the heroes of the failed SLIM lunar mission

LEV-1 and LEV-2 They are the names of two small robots that made the Japanese SLIM moon landing mission a partial success. The SLIM space probe landed on the moon's surface on January 19, but ended up resting on the surface in the wrong direction, upside down. This prevented the probe's solar panels from properly aligning with the sun, rapidly depleting the spacecraft's batteries. Just before landing But I broke up 2 small robots By Salim. They can do whatever they want Complete the tasks with flying colors.

➤ Read more: The Japanese lunar probe SLIM sends back the first images after landing

This diagram shows how LEV-1 and LEV-2 should separate from SLIM and jump or orbit on their own paths around the Moon

This diagram shows how LEV-1 and LEV-2 should separate from SLIM and jump or orbit on their own paths around the Moon

The smallest device we have run so far

Lunar Expedition Vehicle 1 (LEV-1) weighs 2.1 kilograms and is equipped with a metal base to help it Jump across the moon Could you. Its main task was to carry 90 grams Communication device testwhich, among other things, established radio contact with LEV-2, but also directly with ground stations on Earth. According to the Japanese space agency JAXA It is the smallest and lightest communication device ever to provide direct data communication over a distance 380,000 km Produced, produced. Here is a video clip documenting the reception of the signal on the ground:

Ball with camera

The LEV-2 is smaller and lighter than the LEV-1. the Spherical robots It was developed through cooperation between the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Doshisha University, and toy manufacturer Takara Tomy. The latter is known for it Transformers game characters. The robot can separate its two spherical hemispheres and turn them into wheels that it can use to roll across the moon's surface. One Extendable camera It is among other things Responsible for this registration, the SLIM spacecraft is shown landing upside down. You can see how the robot moves in the following video from minute 35:00:

Listen for signs of life

LEV-1 and LEV-2 were SLIM after landing Completely independent for a few hoursUntil their power supply ran out. The LEV-1 has solar cells installed It can send signals in the future. Every day, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency hears new signs of life coming from the robot. However, the lunar night at the landing site will begin in early February. During this time, the little robot is subjected to a tough test at temperatures of up to minus 130 degrees Celsius.

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