HomeScienceWatch Odysseus attempt the first US Moon landing since 1972 at 6:24PM...

Watch Odysseus attempt the first US Moon landing since 1972 at 6:24PM ET

Intuitive Machines has simply made historical past by changing into the primary personal aerospace firm to land a spacecraft on the Moon’s floor. Following its launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket final Thursday, the robotic Nova-C “Odysseus” lander constructed by Intuitive Machines has now touched down — additionally making it the primary US spacecraft to efficiently land on the Moon because the 1972 Apollo 17 mission.

Described by NASA as a “hexagonal cylinder” on six legs, the Nova-C Odysseus lander is carrying a number of science and analysis payloads for the company’s Business Lunar Payload Companies (CLPS) program, which goals to gather necessary knowledge in regards to the Moon’s floor. It aimed for the lunar south pole, a area of specific scientific curiosity because of the prevalence of water ice hiding in completely shadowed craters. Such knowledge may show helpful earlier than NASA’s Artemis program brings folks again to the Moon in 2025.

It has a laser retroreflector array to assist different spacecraft make precision landings and a radio navigation beacon to supply geolocation knowledge to landers, rovers, and ultimately astronauts. 

Picture: Intuitive Machines

Odysseus captured a number of images throughout its journey to the Moon, together with some “selfies” with the Earth a day after it launched. One picture taken by the lander’s Terrain Relative Navigation digicam shows the Moon from roughly 100,000 kilometers (round 62,137 miles), later adopted by a close-up shot of the Bel’kovich K crater.

Odysseus is anticipated to function for 14 Earth days, after which Intuitive Machines anticipates that the incoming lunar evening — a interval of extended chilly that the lander isn’t designed to resist — will pressure it to close down. Further payloads from different, personal prospects aboard the lander embrace an “EagleCam” CubeSat digicam system constructed by college students at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical College in Daytona Seashore, Florida, and an artwork undertaking by Jeff Koons containing 125 miniature Moon sculptures.

That is the primary privately owned spacecraft to realize its purpose after the Astrobotic Peregrine lander, launched by United Launch Alliance final month, failed to succeed in the Moon.

Replace February twenty second, 6:54PM ET: Up to date to notice Odysseus has reached the Moon’s floor.



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