Historic Odysseus Moon Mission Marks A Milestone in Reaching The Lunar Surface

(ConservativeSense.com) – The first privately funded space expedition to the moon has been completed successfully. The Nova-C Odysseus lander, owned and built by a Texas company, Intuitive Machines (IM), landed on the moon on February 22 and was the first American spacecraft to reach the lunar surface since Apollo 17, more than five decades ago.

On a live webcast, Intuitive Machines CEO Steve Altemus announced the moment the craft landed on the moon. “I know this was a nail-biter, but we are on the surface, and we are transmitting,” he said.

Odysseus departed from Cape Canaveral, Florida, attached to a Falcon 9 rocket manufactured by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company, to start its 620,000-mile trip. It is four meters tall, five feet wide, and weighs almost 1,500 pounds. The expedition is part of the NASA Commercial Lunar Payload Services program that invites private companies to join moon exploration programs to conduct experiments and test technologies in preparation for “human missions.”

The successful mission occurred just weeks after an Astrobotic craft known as Peregrine failed to complete its lunar mission. The vessel suffered propulsion system failure, believed to have been caused by a fuel leak. The company issued a statement saying a valve that connects two tanks had failed to close on take-off, leaving pressurized helium leaking from one to another and placing pressure on the oxidizer tank, causing it to burst.

The Odysseus spacecraft also encountered difficulties on its journey and fell over on its side when it landed. This left two antennae pointed toward the surface, impeding communication, but Mr. Altemus said some problems are to be expected. He said that even back in the days of Apollo, “there wasn’t one mission that went absolutely perfectly.”

America’s Apollo program ran from 1961 to 1972. It achieved the first-ever lunar landing when Commander Neil Armstrong and Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin reached the moon on July 20, 1969. They were on the surface for 21 hours and 36 minutes.

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