US Moon lander plunges into 'permanent sleep' after historic landing; Deets here

Intuitive Machines, a Houston-based aerospace company, confirmed the sad news that their pioneering lunar lander, Odysseus, has ceased all communication. This concludes the groundbreaking mission.

Published on Mar 26, 2024  |  10:03 AM IST |  23.7K
(Image Courtesy: Intuitive Machines)
Image Courtesy: Intuitive Machines
Key Highlight
  • US Moon lander successfully completes a groundbreaking touchdown, marking a significant milestone
  • Following its momentous landing, the lander, named Odysseus, enters a state of permanent sleep

Odysseus, the pioneering American lander who made history as the first private spacecraft to land on the Moon, has met its end. The company behind this mission, Houston-based Intuitive Machines, confirmed the lander's permanent slumber after multiple attempts to revive it failed as per the Economic Times. 

Odysseus fails to wake up 

Intuitive Machines announced late Saturday that Odysseus, affectionately known as "Odie," had failed to re-establish communication despite positive projections. The lander, which landed in a precarious position on February 22, successfully completed several tests and transmitted images before succumbing to the lunar night, which lasted several weeks. 

Intuitive Machines had hoped that it would "wake up" once it saw sunlight again, like Japan's SLIM spaceship did last month, which landed upside down in January.


The company announced Saturday on X, (formerly Twitter). "This confirms that Odie has permanently faded after cementing its legacy into history as the first commercial lunar lander to land on the Moon," stated the post. 

Despite challenges, such as an unexpected tip-over during landing, Intuitive Machines and NASA praised the mission as a success. Notably, Odysseus was the first American lunar landing since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972, representing a huge leap in private space exploration. 

NASA's vision 

NASA's collaboration with Intuitive Machines shows that it is dedicated to reviving lunar exploration. The agency intends to use private-sector partnerships to build long-term infrastructure on the Moon, with plans to return astronauts to its surface later this decade under the Artemis program. 

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Despite Odysseus' end, Intuitive Machines plans to launch two more Moon missions this year as part of NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative as per the Economic Times. 

These efforts are consistent with broader goals of developing long-term habitats in the lunar south pole region and utilizing its resources to support future space exploration endeavors, including voyages to Mars. 

Odysseus may have ended its operational life, but its legacy as a pioneer in private space exploration lives on. As humanity's journey to the stars continues, each step forward, even if it is taken in silence, paves the way for future endeavors beyond Earth's orbit. 

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Know more about Odysseus:

What was Odysseus' mission?
Odysseus' mission was to become the first privately-owned spacecraft to land on the Moon.

Did Odysseus successfully land on the Moon?
Yes, Odysseus successfully landed on the Moon on February 22, marking a historic achievement in space exploration.

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