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 Private maanlander Odysseus (1) infographic
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RUIMTE

Odysseus mikt op historische maanlanding VS (1)

By Jordi Bou

February 22, 2024 - A moon lander built by aerospace company Intuitive Machines of Houston is attempting the first U.S. lunar touchdown in more than a half century and the first by a privately owned spacecraft.

The company’s Nova-C lander, nicknamed Odysseus, lifted off on February 15 atop a Falcon 9 rocket flown by SpaceX from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Odysseus is carrying a range of scientific instruments, designed to gather data about the lunar environment ahead of NASA's planned return of astronauts to the moon later this decade.

If successful, flight would represent the first controlled descent to the lunar surface by a U.S. spacecraft since the final Apollo crewed moon mission in 1972, and the first by a private company.

The launch of the Intuitive Machines mission comes just one month after another American company, Astrobotic Technology of Pittsburgh, attempted to send Peregrine, its lander, to the moon. But a malfunction with its propulsion system shortly after launch prevented any possibility of landing.

Sources
PUBLISHED: 23/02/2024; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: NASA/JPL/USGS
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