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The student news site of St. Dominic High School

Crusader Nation

The student news site of St. Dominic High School

Crusader Nation

Odysseus Moon Mission Makes History

The+Odysseus+lunar+lander+successfully+reached+the+moon+on+Thursday
Intuitive Machines
The Odysseus lunar lander successfully reached the moon on Thursday

It has been 52 years since the United States successfully landed a spacecraft on the surface of Earth’s moon. Now, the lunar lander Odysseus, nicknamed ‘Odie,’ has touched down on the lunar surface as part of an operation conducted by the Intuitive Machines company, to gather data about the moon — the first commercial lunar landing in history. 

The Odysseus made liftoff from the Florida Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday, and began circling the moon at a 57 mile high orbit. While the spacecraft was performing as a satellite, Intuitive Machines flight controllers used its scanners to take pictures of the moon. On Thursday afternoon, Odysseus began its descent towards the lunar surface. 

However, just like its Greek hero namesake, the spacecraft did not reach its destination without difficulty. In fact, there was concern that impromptu issues would prevent Odysseus from ever touching down on the moon. Some of the vehicle’s crucial navigation hardware experienced malfunctions, just before descent was supposed to occur. Thankfully, NASA was able to remotely substitute an experimental replacement part and recover the mission.

“After troubleshooting communications, flight controllers have confirmed Odysseus is upright and starting to send data. Right now, we are working to downlink the first images from the lunar surface,” Intuitive Machines said, on the social media platform X. 

The ultimate goal of Odysseus’s mission is to cultivate data that will be important to manned moon landings later on this decade. The Artemis program hopes to send four NASA astronauts to the lunar surface, for purposes of exploration and scientific research. Intuitive Machine’s successful moon landing made massive progress towards future space exploration.

“Today, for the first time in more than a half-century, the US has returned to the moon. Today is a day that shows the power and promise of NASA’s commercial partnerships. Congratulations to everyone involved in this great and daring quest,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said, according to space.com.

The Odysseus will continue to deliver information to NASA for the next seven days. In the immortal words of Neil Armstrong, the first man to ever step foot on the moon, this landing marks a giant leap for mankind.



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About the Contributor
Cameron Schwent
Cameron Schwent, Staff Writer
Cameron Schwent is a junior at St. Dominic. She is a member of Writer’s Guild and Student Ambassadors and participates onstage in St. Dominic’s theater program. She loves cats, creative writing, and playing The Sims.

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