‘Odysseus’ Transmits New Photos Ahead of Lunar Landing Attempt

Intuitive Machines on Thursday morning updates the expected landing time for the Nova-C lander.

Landing Time Update: Intuitive Machines flight controllers decided to add an additional orbit prior to beginning the IM-1 mission landing sequence. The new expected landing time is 6:24 p.m. EST.

Intuitive Machines released two new photos transmitted by its voyaging Nova-C robotic lunar lander Odysseus, which will attempt to reach the moon’s South Pole surface Thursday.

The mission, known as IM-1, is set to be the first U.S. moon landing in more than 50 years. Launched on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket February 15 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, it is part of NASA’s commercial lunar payload services (CLPS) initiative and Artemis campaign. On board are six NASA payloads that will conduct research and collect data to better understand the lunar environment. 

Thursday afternoon, the Houston-based private aerospace company updated its projection for Odysseus’ expected landing time. 

“Flight controllers chose to exercise an additional orbit before starting the IM-1 mission landing sequence. The new anticipated landing time is 1724 CST [6:24 p.m. EST],” Intuitive Machines said in a mission update.

Earlier projections had Odysseus landing around 5:30 p.m. EST, however, such forecasts are approximate and subject to change, Intuitive Machines said.

“The landing opportunity will be Odysseus’ hardest challenge yet,” the company said. “The lander continues to be in excellent health, orbiting approximately 92 kilometers [57 miles] above the lunar surface.”

Thursday’s anticipated lunar landing will be livestreamed here.

Odysseus’ Terrain Relative Navigation camera captured this image of the Bel’kovich K crater in the Moon’s northern equatorial highlands. [Courtesy: Intuitive Machines]


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