Six months after India's Chandrayaan-3, US' Odysseus also lands near Moon's South Pole. Watch video

A Houston-based company has achieved a significant milestone by landing America’s first spacecraft on the Moon in over 50 years. However, despite receiving a faint signal, it remains uncertain if Odysseus, the lander developed by Intuitive Machines, is fully operational.

Odysseus, the latest lunar lander, successfully reached the moon on Wednesday, six days after its launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. After entering a low lunar orbit, the lander prepared for its planned touchdown in the early evening.

This hexagon-shaped vessel, part of a new fleet of NASA-funded unmanned commercial robots, touched down near the lunar south pole at 2323 GMT, decelerating from 4,000 miles (6,500 kilometers) per hour.

The company did not provide immediate updates on the condition or precise whereabouts of the lander. Mission director Tim Crain stated that the team was assessing methods to enhance the single signal received from the lander, Odysseus, which transported experiments to the moon for NASA, news agency AP reported

“We can confirm unequivocally that our equipment is on the lunar surface,” he affirmed, as quoted by AP.

This achievement comes after a recent failed moonshot by another American company, emphasizing the importance of demonstrating private industry’s capability in space exploration, last achieved by NASA during the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.

Watch video: Odysseus spacecraft makes the first commercial moon landing

When was Odysseus launched?


Odysseus was launched on February 15 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and boasts a new type of supercooled liquid oxygen, liquid methane propulsion system that allowed it to race through space in quick time.

Odysseus landing site

The landing site, Malapert A, lies within an impact crater located 300 kilometers (180 miles) from the lunar south pole.

Instruments carried on Odysseu

Odysseus is equipped with various instruments, including cameras to study lunar surface changes caused by spaceship engine plumes, and a device to analyze charged dust particle clouds formed during twilight due to solar radiation.

Furthermore, it houses a NASA landing system that utilizes laser pulses to measure signal return time and frequency changes accurately. This allows for a precise assessment of the spacecraft’s velocity and distance from the surface, crucial for avoiding potential catastrophic impacts.

Rush to unravel Moon’s South Pole

India has achieved the distinction of being the first country to land a spacecraft successfully on the moon’s south pole. India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission successfully landed near the moon’s south pole on August 23, 2023. Odysseus landed in Malapert A, a crater just 300 kilometers away from the Moon’s South Pole.

-With agency inputs



Unlock a world of Benefits! From insightful newsletters to real-time stock tracking, breaking news and a personalized newsfeed – it’s all here, just a click away! Login Now!

Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Check all the latest action on Budget 2024 here.
Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.


Published: 23 Feb 2024, 06:33 AM IST

Source link

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *