Thursday, July 25, 2024

NASA partner says Odysseus moon lander may have tilted

Officials are trying to take pictures from the surface of the moon.

As the world waits for Odysseus to transmit its first images from the lunar surface, officials announced Friday afternoon that the moon landing may have gone wrong.

Intuitive Machines, a private Houston company partnering with NASA, said Friday that the “ODI” hit a rock during landing and is believed to have tipped over.

Most of the lander's payloads are working and the solar-powered Odie has 100% battery power, the company said.

Odysseus was the first American spacecraft to land on the moon in 50 years. It marked the first commercial-based landing on the moon in US history.

The spacecraft, which launched last week from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, entered lunar orbit on Wednesday before landing on the moon's surface.

Although the lander did not transmit any images from the lunar surface on Friday evening, the Intuition Engine did release an image taken during the flyby as it approached the odyssey's camera.

The image was taken about six miles above a crater near the moon's south pole and about 124 miles from its landing site, the agency said.

The lander carries five NASA instruments, including a radio beacon that transmits precise geolocation and cameras that capture how the moon's surface changes from interactions with the spacecraft's engine plume and cargo.

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