Tokyo: Japan’s SLIM “Moon Sniper” spacecraft made a successful lunar landing Friday, making the country just the fifth to robotically land on the moon. But its solar panels aren't generating electricity as planned.

The Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) spacecraft began its descent from a 15-kilometer perilune shortly after 10:00 a.m. Eastern, Jan. 19 (1500 UTC), decelerating from a speed of around 1,700 meters per second.

SLIM appeared to have successfully touched down at 10:20 a.m. (1520 UTC), during a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) livestream of the event. It was not however immediately clear if the landing was successful, with the livestream ending inconclusively. A wait of more than an hour followed for clarification and confirmation.

But it wasn't all good news for SLIM: The probe's solar panels aren't generating electricity as planned on the lunar surface, JAXA officials said during today's briefing. If the problem isn't fixed soon, SLIM could go forever silent. Its battery can support operations on the moon for just a few hours.

The reason for the solar cell issue was not immediately known, but spacecraft orientation—suggesting the lander may have rolled—is consider a possibility. SLIM is currently working on battery power.

“We believe that the soft landing itself was successful,” a JAXA official said, stating that the spacecraft had survived the landing and was sending data.