Categories: Tech

US moon lander set to touchdown TODAY that would be the first since 1972 after last month’s failed mission

  • A private company based in Houston is preparing to take a ship to the moon
  • Odysseus will land at 6:24 pm ET in a crater called Malapert A
  • READ MORE: SpaceX launches first US lunar landing mission since 1972



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The United States will return to the moon on Thursday, marking the first time an American-made spacecraft has landed on the lunar surface since the last Apollo mission in 1972.

Odysseus, or Odie, is flying through space, but unlike previous trips, this one is owned by Houston-based Intuitive Machines.

The six-legged robot lander is scheduled to touch down at 6:24 pm ET in a crater called Malapert A near the Moon’s south pole.

The landing attempt will be broadcast live on nasa television starting at 5 pm eastern time.

While the mission is operated by a private company, NASA has sponsored the trip to bring its scientific instruments and technology to the moon.

NASA’s payload will focus on collecting data on space weather interactions with the moon’s surface, radio astronomy and other aspects of the lunar environment for future landers and NASA’s planned astronaut return later in the year. decade.

However, Odie’s mission comes a month after another private company attempted to land on the moon without success.

Odysseus, or Odie, is flying through space, but unlike previous trips, this one is owned by Houston-based Intuitive Machines.

Astrobotic Technology attempted to return the United States to the lunar surface with its Peregrine, but the lander suffered a propulsion system leak on its way shortly after being launched into orbit.

Peregrine returned to Earth, where it burned up in the atmosphere.

The malfunction of Astrobotic’s Peregrine lander marked the third failure by a private company to achieve a lunar landing, following ill-fated efforts by companies in Israel and Japan.

But Intuitive Machines hopes to beat the odds with Odie.

The unmanned spacecraft has been orbiting the Moon about 57 miles (92 kilometers) above the surface since reaching orbit on Wednesday.

This is six days after it was launched by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

This is the first launch to the moon carried out by Elon Musk’s company.

The six-legged lander is scheduled to land at 5:30 p.m. ET in a crater called Malapert A near the Moon’s south pole.

Odie remained “in excellent health” as it continued to orbit the Moon, approximately 239,000 miles (384,000 km) from Earth, transmitting flight data and lunar images to Intuitive Machines’ mission control center in Houston, the company said Wednesday. .

The vehicle carries a suite of scientific instruments and technology demonstrations for NASA and several commercial customers designed to operate for seven days on solar power before the sun sets over the polar landing site.

Intuitive Machines nicknamed its lander after Homer’s hero in ‘The Odyssey’, or ‘Odie’ for short.

—Good luck, Odysseus. Now let’s make history,” said Trent Martin, vice president of space systems.

Only five countries (the United States, Russia, China, India and Japan) have achieved a moon landing and no private company has done so yet.

The United States has not returned to the lunar surface since the Apollo program ended more than five decades ago.

“There have been many sleepless nights preparing for this,” Intuitive Machines co-founder and CEO Steve Altemus said before the flight.

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