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America's Odysseus spacecraft makes first commercial moon landing in history

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 23 February 2024, 9:06 IST
Visual from the NASA space station during the moon landing of Odysseus spacecraft

Washington DC: The Odysseus spacecraft from the United States successfully landed on the moon on Thursday (local time), becoming the first American spacecraft to achieve the feat in more than 50 years.

With this, Intuitive Machines (IM) -- the commercial venture behind the Nova-C lander -- has become the first private venture to carry out a successful landing on the lunar surface. This marks the first American soft landing on the lunar surface since the Apollo era in 1972.

Although, the exact state of the lander is not yet clear, but the company has confirmed it has made contact with the moon. The landing site of Odysseus is near Malapert A, an impact crater near the moon's south pole. The site is "(A) relatively flat and safe region is within the heavily cratered southern highlands on the side of the Moon visible from Earth," according to NASA.

Nasa's Odysseus carries six payloads that encompass both technology demonstration and scientific research.

A crucial examination focuses on the behaviour of lunar dust, a significant inconvenience noted by Apollo astronauts due to its tendency to scratch and clog equipment.

Nasa's scientists aim to enhance their understanding of how landing craft stir up the dust, causing it to hover just above the lunar surface before eventually settling back down.

The US remains the only country to have put humans on the lunar surface, most recently in 1972 with the Apollo 17 mission.

(With ANI inputs)


First published: 23 February 2024, 9:03 IST