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Japan launches moon rover, X-ray telescope

A rocket launching from the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima, Japan Associated Press/Kyodo News

Japan launches moon rover, X-ray telescope

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency successfully launched a rocket carrying a rover and an X-ray telescope into space Thursday morning. JAXA officials said the rover detached from the rocket less than an hour after launch. It will likely begin orbiting the moon by early 2024 and will attempt to land on the lunar surface later that year. If it succeeds, Japan will become the fifth country to land a rover on the moon successfully. Japanese officials aim to successfully place a person on the moon by the end of the 2020s.

What will the X-ray telescope do? The X-Ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission, known as XRISM, began orbiting the Earth less than 15 minutes after the rocket launched. XRISM is a joint project between JAXA and NASA. It will use X-ray technology to measure light wavelengths and temperatures. This will share more information about the spaces between galaxies. Rice Space Institute Director David Alexander believes the satellite could give researchers more information on the composition of hot plasma and other superheated matter throughout the universe.

Dig deeper: Read Jamie Dean’s report for WORLD Magazine on an astronaut discussing the glory of God in space.

Christina Grube

Christina Grube is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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