The first private lander landed on the Moon

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The first private lander landed on the Moon

The first private lander has landed on the Moon. It's Odysseus, from the Texan company Intuitive Machine. It is an absolute first in the history of the space age and also marks the return of an American vehicle to the Moon 52 years after the last mission of the Apollo program.

Launched on February 15th, Odysseus entered lunar orbit on February 21st, after traveling one million kilometres. The moon landing maneuver took place as planned, but there were moments of tension because initially it was not possible to receive the signal. After a few attempts with multiple antennas from Earth, the 'beep' finally came from the lander.

It was a weak signal, the one that arrived on Earth from Odysseus' main antenna, but enough to make people breathe a sigh of relief and trigger increasingly louder and more convinced applause. “We can confirm without a doubt that our vehicle is on the surface of the Moon and that we are transmitting,” flight director Tim Crain said as soon as the signal was received. We are now awaiting updates on the lander's condition.

The Im-1 mission thus achieved its objective, crucial for the future of lunar programs and for the Lunar Space Economy.
That of Odysseus, the Nova-C class lander of Intuitive Machine, is the first success of a private mission after the failures of the Peregrine lander of the American company Astrobotic last January and those of the Hakuto-R M1 landers of the Japanese ispace in 2023 and Beresheet, by the Israeli company SpaceIL in 2019. There are four countries that have placed their vehicle on the Moon: after the United States, Russia, China, India and Japan managed to land on the moon.

Not since December 11, 1972 has a vehicle built in the United States landed on the moon. The Houston-based company has thus taken what many already define as 'a giant step for private individuals'.

“Odysseus has a new home,” Intuitive Machine wrote on This crater, with a diameter of about 69 kilometers, is near the Malapert massif, one of the 13 sites considered for NASA's Artemis III mission.

As happened with Astrobotic's Peregrine lander, Odysseus is also financed in part by the program launched in 2018 by NASA for commercial flights, the Commercial Lunar Payload Services and, like the other mission, has six NASA instruments on board, the whose objective is to collect data useful for planning future missions of the Artemis program, intended to bring astronauts to the Moon again.

Reproduction reserved © Copyright ANSA

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