Watch the 2024 moon Landing Live Stream Here

The probe will be the first U.S. vehicle to touch lunar soil since 1972.

The Houston-based company Intuitive Machines is overseeing the mission, which launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on February 15. Odysseus’ destination is a flat region near the Malapert A crater, about 300 kilometers from the moon’s south pole. The spot is near one of several potential landing sites for future NASA astronauts.

The spacecraft, which stands about 4 meters tall and 1.5 meters wide, is hauling a half dozen NASA instruments designed to demonstrate equipment for future landings and better understand the environment near the south pole in service of planned astronaut missions. The payloads will test precision landing technologies, try out a new way of knowing how much lander fuel is left, investigate the radio environment near the moon’s surface, and plop a set of retroreflectors on the ground that will serve as a permanent location marker.

Though NASA is the company’s main customer, the space agency’s instruments aren’t the only passengers. Payloads from several private companies and groups are along for the ride as well. They include a camera designed by students and faculty at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla. The camera will be jettisoned from the lander about 30 meters above the surface to capture the first images of a lunar touchdown from outside the incoming spacecraft. And Odysseus is delivering the first art installation on the moon: A cube of 125 miniature sculptures that commemorate human curiosity.


Touchdown is now targeted for 6:24 p.m. EST

About Surley 2558 Articles
No hell below us, Above us only sky, Get over it