US Commercial Spaceship, Makes Historic Lunar Landing

A Houston-based firm makes history by landing the first commercial American spacecraft on the Moon in over 50 years
A representational image of Space industry
A representational image of Space industry

The space industry is once again grabbing attention as a Houston-headquartered firm has achieved the historic feat of landing the first American spacecraft on the Moon in over five decades. This marks a fresh lineup of NASA-supported, unmanned commercial robots aimed at laying the groundwork for upcoming astronaut missions.

Although flight controllers verified the reception of a faint signal, uncertainty lingered regarding the operational status of Odysseus, the lander constructed by Intuitive Machines. Commentators on a live broadcast hinted that it might have landed off-kilter, as per a report by AFP.

The lander had touched down close to the lunar south pole at 2323 GMT after decelerating from a speed of 4,000 miles (6,500 kilometers) per hour.

For now, there's uncertainty about the release of images from an external 'EagleCam' that was supposed to capture the spacecraft's final moments of descent. It is worth noting that another American company's recent attempt to reach the moon, ended unsuccessfully last month. This heightened the stakes to prove that the private sector has the capability to replicate an achievement last accomplished by NASA during its manned Apollo 17 mission in 1972.

As per the report, the current mission "will be one of the first forays into the south pole to actually look at the environmental conditions to a place we're going to be sending our astronauts in the future," a senior NASA official Joel Kearns stated.

Odysseus was launched on February 15 via a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and features a new type of supercooled liquid oxygen and liquid methane propulsion system.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Outlook Business & Money