April 15, 2024

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NASA partner says Odysseus moon lander may have capsized

NASA partner says Odysseus moon lander may have capsized

Officials are still trying to obtain images from the moon's surface.

As the world waits for Odysseus to send back its first images from the lunar surface, officials announced Friday afternoon that the lunar lander may have made a mistake.

Intuitive Machines, a private Houston company that has partnered with NASA, said Friday that it believes the Audi hit a rock during its landing and flipped over.

Most of the lander's payloads are operational, and the solar-powered Audi has 100% battery power, according to the company.

Odysseus is the first US-based spacecraft to land on the moon in more than 50 years. It also represents the first commercial landing on the moon in US history.

The spacecraft launched last week from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida and entered lunar orbit on Wednesday before landing on the moon's surface.

Although the lander had not sent back any images from the lunar surface as of Friday evening, Intuitive Machines did release one image taken as they reached Odie's camera during the flight.

The image was taken at an altitude of six miles above a crater near the moon's south pole, and about 124 miles from its landing site, according to the company.

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The lander carries five NASA instruments, including a radio beacon intended to relay precise geographic location and cameras that capture how the moon's surface changes from interactions with the spacecraft's drive shaft, as well as commercial cargo.