The way to watch the Intuitive Machines Odysseus moon touchdown


Replace: Intuitive Machines’ Odysseus lunar lander efficiently landed on the Moon at 6:23 pm ET Thursday.

Greater than 50 years after NASA closed out the Apollo program, a Texas firm might land the first business U.S. spacecraft on the moon on Thursday, assuming every part goes as deliberate.

Intuitive Machines launched its Odysseus lunar lander final week aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, starting an eight-day voyage to the moon. The lander is a part of a NASA program devoted to jumpstarting the so-called lunar economic system. This endeavor led the company to pay Intuitive $118 million to place its experiments on the moon.

Controllers will decrease the Odysseus’s orbit from slightly below 60 miles to 6 miles, earlier than aiming to land about 190 miles from the moon’s south pole at roughly 6:24 p.m. ET. Notably, the spacecraft is aiming for a area dwelling to craters trapped in perpetual shadows, that are believed to accommodate water ice.

The sophisticated process will probably be livestreamed by each NASA on YouTube and Intuitive on its web site. Flight controllers raised Odysseus’s orbit via a “correction maneuver” on Wednesday evening, pushing the spacecraft’s anticipated touchdown try an hour forward of earlier estimates. The simultaneous livestreams will start at 5:00 p.m. ET, in accordance with Intuitive.

If the lander — also referred to as “Odie” and “IM-1″ — is profitable, the mission will final round seven days. Odysseus is powered by solar-panels and isn’t designed to outlive the two-week lengthy chilly nights that can seem when the solar units on its touchdown web site.

The plane is carrying a collection of devices for NASA, together with gear designed to check new navigation and touchdown know-how and the way Odysseus’s exhaust plume interacts with lunar grime. It’s additionally carrying 125 miniature moon sculptures designed by artist Jeff Koons and a digital camera constructed by by college students at Florida’s Embry-Riddle Aeronautical College.

However, ought to Odysseus fail, it can be a part of the ranks of a number of different failed lunar endeavors launched by personal firms. Pittsburgh-based Astrobotic Expertise tried to land a spacecraft on the moon final month, though it was destroyed on reentry. Japan’s Ispace and Israel’s Beresheet had likewise suffered failures in 2023 and 2019, respectively.

Intuitive inventory has surged 283% since Jan. 1, though a failed touchdown will doubtless diminish its beneficial properties.


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