NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive Header

Smart Lander for Investigating Moon



The Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) is a Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) mission designed to demonstrate accurate lunar landing techniques by a small explorer, with the objective of acceleration of the study of the Moon and planets using lighter exploration systems. The techniques demonstrated by this mission will pave the way for future lunar sample return missions. SLIM launched on 6 September 2023 and is expected to make a landing attempt in January 2024.

Spacecraft and Subsystems

SLIM is an irregularly shaped cuboid 2.4 meters in height, 2.7 meters across, and 1.7 meters deep, with a dry mass of 190 kg and a fully loaded mass of 590 kg. The body is built around the propellant tank as the structural element. Power is provided by thin-film solar cells and lithium ion batteries. SLIM will carry a landing radar for the final descent and a multiband camera for mineralogical exploration of the surface, as well as a small laser retroreflector array. The landing system uses a crushable aluminum foam base to absorb impact. The propulsion system comprises two 500 N ceramic engines for orbit manuevers and twelve 22 N thrusters for attitude control. All engines and thrusters use hydrazine (N2H4)/ nitrogen tetroxide (NTO - MON-3) bipropellant, stored in a common tank separated by a bulkhead.

Mission Profile

SLIM launched on September 6 at 23:42:11 UT (September 7, 8:42:11 a.m. JST) as a "ride-share" payload with the XRISM mission on an H2A booster from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan. All systems were reported nominal after upper stage separation putting it on a four month journey to lunar orbit. It made a close approach, 5000 km altitude, of the Moon on October 4 at 6:47 UT and continued on a long orbit that will bring it back to the Moon in late 2023. It will initially go into a 600 x 15 km altitude lunar orbit, and over the course of about a month will go into a powered descent phase to bring it down to 3.5 km altitude. Using the onboard camera, the spacecraft position with respect to the surface will be precisely determined. It will then enter the vertical descent phase, descending towards the surface. At the end of this phase, it will begin a program of obstacle detection, to avoid any hazards at the landing site. At about 3 meters altitude the engines cut off and the lander drops to the surface. The landed weight will be about 210 kg, landing objective is to be within 100 meters of the target point, the ejecta blanket of Shioli crater (crater centered at approximately 13.322 S, 25.232 E).

The Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) SLIM page is available at:

Image credit: ISAS/JAXA

Alternate Names

  • SmartLanderforInvestigatingMoon
  • SLIM
  • 57803

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2023-09-06
Launch Vehicle: H-2A
Launch Site: Tanegashima, Japan
Mass: 190 kg

Funding Agency

  • Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Japan)


  • Planetary Science

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Dr. David R. Williams



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Shin-ichiro SakaiProject ManagerJapan Aerospace Exploration
[] NASA Logo -