The ‘Odysseus’ Has Landed

Intuitive Machines' uncrewed autonomous lunar lander touched down on the moon's surface at 6:23 p.m. EST.

America is back on the moon. Intuitive Machine’s autonomous Nova-C lunar lander Odysseus successfully touched down in the South Pole region of the moon Thursday evening, marking the first U.S. moon landing in more than 50 years.

“This is the first time an American commercial lunar lander has made it to orbit around the moon,” NASA said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The uncrewed robotic lunar lander touched down on the moon’s surface at 6:23 p.m. EST. 

The mission, known as IM-1, launched on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket February 15 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, as 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 to prepare for human exploration under Artemis. 

“On the eighth day of a quarter-million mile voyage—a voyage along the great cosmic bridge from the launch pad of the Kennedy Space Center, to the target of the South Pole of the moon, a commercial lander named Odysseus powered by a company called Intuitive Machines [of Houston] launched upon a SpaceX rocket, carrying a bounty of NASA scientific instruments and bearing the dream of a new adventure,”  NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a video message immediately following the landing.

“Today for the first time in a half century, the U.S. has returned to the moon,” Nelson said. “Today for the first time in the history of humanity, a commercial company—an American company—launched and led the voyage up there. And today is a day that shows the power and promise of NASA’s commercial partnerships.”

This is a developing story and will be updated.


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