Japan to Launch Lunar Lander, Revolutionary Satellite

A revolutionary satellite that will reveal celestial objects in a new light and the “Moon Sniper” lunar lander are preparing for launch.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, is expected to launch its XRISM mission, pronounced “crism,” from Japan tomorrow (Monday).

The satellite, also called the X-Ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission, is a joint mission between JAXA and NASA, along with participation from the European Space Agency and Canadian Space Agency.

Along for the ride is JAXA’s SLIM, or Smart Lander for Investigating Moon. This small-scale exploration lander is designed to demonstrate a “pinpoint” landing at a specific location within 100 meters (328 feet), rather than the typical kilometer range, by relying on high-precision landing technology. The precision led to the mission’s nickname, Moon Sniper.

The satellite and its two instruments will observe the universe’s hottest regions, largest structures and objects with the strongest gravity, according to NASA. XRISM will detect X-ray light, a wavelength invisible to humans.