We’re BACK!

Published: February 25, 2024

By Jim Lichtman
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Intuitive Machines, Odysseus approaching the south pole of the moon.

Finally, something we can all be proud of.

Intuitive Machines succeeded in the first moon landing in more than 50 years.

In a posted message on X (formerly Twitter), Intuitive Machines writes, “Lunar Surface Day One Update (23FEB2024 0818 CST) Odysseus is alive and well. Flight controllers are communicating and commanding the vehicle to download science data. The lander has good telemetry and solar charging.”

Despite last minute navigation issues, IM-1 had successfully landed on the South Pole region of the moon’s surface. Using a model, the company’s CEO, Steve Altemus described: “We think it came down (moving) about 6 miles an hour this way, and about 2 miles an hour (horizontally along the surface) and caught foot in the surface, and the lander has tipped like this.”

In a follow-up message, “Due to complications with Odysseus’ internal navigation system — specifically concerning the software patch to navigation data to include NASA’s NDL (Navigation Doppler Lidar) payload, which is meant to ensure a soft landing — the decision was made to power down EagleCam during landing and not deploy the device during Odysseus’ final descent,” experts with the university stated Friday.

NASA’s last moon mission took place in 1972 with Apollo 17.

Scientist-astronaut Harrison H. Schmitt is photographed standing next to a huge, split lunar boulder during the third Apollo 17 extravehicular activity (EVA) at the Taurus-Littrow landing site. NASA

What’s next? Intuitive Machines and NASA are working on next steps in having Odysseus send updated photos from the South Pole of the moon.


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