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Historic New Moon Landing

For The First Time In 52 Years, An American-Made Machine Has Touched The Moon.
A video of some of Odysseus’ first photographs
Source: Intuitive Machines
A photograph of Odysseus’ descent to the lunar surface. SOURCE:

Last month, on February 22, 2024, NASA and Intuitive Machines landed the first American-made lander on the Moon in over 50 years. that lander, named Odysseus, touched down on the lunar south pole after problems with it’s navigation systems. This historic landing also marks the first time a company has had its spacecraft touch the moon. It could have gone differently, though, if the company Astrobotics had landed their mission, Peregrin Mission One, which failed to enter lunar orbit because of a fuel leak.

Odysseus launched from the Kennedy Space Center about a week before landing on February 15, 2024 on a SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket, and successfully reached orbit later that day. About 6 days after launch, it reached lunar orbit and the mission control team began prepping for the landing, which happened only a day afterwards. When they were about to land, however, they noticed that some of the navigation equipment wasn’t working, and had to delay one lunar orbit (around two hours). Once they had (temporarily) fixed the problem, they began the descent to the lunar surface, and landed some time later.

Once on the Moon, however, the lander began to have even more problems. For one, it landed sideways and some of its antennae were destroyed, and the intact ones were close to the ground, making communication hard. Another problem is that the solar panels that supply power to the craft were in a bad position to collect electricity, meaning it probably wouldn’t last through the long lunar night.  If it does last through the night, and collects enough solar energy to reboot its transmission system, it is programmed to send out a message to NASA and Intuitive Machines to inform them that it is still alive and working.


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