TOKYO (NEWSnet/AP) — Japan’s first moon lander has survived a third lunar night, Japan’s space agency said Wednesday after receiving an image from its device that landed on the moon three months ago.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said the lunar probe responded to a signal from the earth Tuesday night, confirming it has survived another weekslong lunar night.

Temperatures can fall to minus 170 degrees Celsius (minus 274 degrees Fahrenheit) during a lunar night, and rise to around 100 Celsius (212 Fahrenheit) during a lunar day.

The probe, Smart Lander for Investing Moon, or SLIM, reached the lunar surface on Jan. 20, making Japan the fifth country to successfully place a probe on the moon. But SLIM landed the wrong way up with its solar panels initially unable to see the sun, and had to be turned off within hours. It only powered on when the sun rose eight days later.

SLIM was not designed to survive lunar nights.

Yet JAXA said on the social media platform X that SLIM’s key functions are still working despite repeated harsh cycles of temperature changes. The agency said it plans to closely monitor the lander’s deterioration.

Scientists are hoping to find clues about the origin of the moon by the comparing mineral compositions of moon rocks and those of Earth.

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