Intuitive Machines Makes History After Its Odysseus Lander Becomes First Commercial Spacecraft to Land on Moon

By Jace Dela Cruz

Feb 23, 2024 01:06 AM EST

Intuitive Machines made history after its Odysseus uncrewed lander became the first commercial spacecraft to land on the moon. 

(Photo : GREGG NEWTON/AFP via Getty Images))
TOPSHOT - A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket soars into orbit from the Kennedy Space Center on the Intuitive Machines' Nova-C moon lander mission, in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on February 15, 2024.

Intuitive Machines Lands on the Moon 

According to CNBC, the IM-1 mission, conducted by Intuitive Machines, culminated in the landing of the Nova-C cargo lander named Odysseus on the lunar surface on Thursday evening. 

Odysseus became the first American lunar landing in over 50 years, or since 1972, when the last Apollo astronauts visited the moon. Named after the mythological Greek hero Odysseus, the Nova-C cargo lander also became the first commercial spacecraft to touch down on the lunar surface. 

Intuitive Machines is the first private company to accomplish a moon landing, distinguishing itself from the previous missions that government agencies solely conducted.

READ NEXT: 2 Private Companies Aim to Get the US Back to the Moon

Odysseus Spacecraft Finds New Home

Intuitive Machines CEO Steve Altemus conveyed the groundbreaking moment from mission control, announcing the successful landing and transmission from the lunar surface. 

Tim Crain, Intuitive Machines Chief Technology Officer and IM-1 mission director, expressed the team's excitement, confirming the presence of their equipment on the moon's surface and the transmission of data. With Odysseus safely landed, Crain likened the moment to the mythological journey of Odysseus finding his new home.

Following the landing, Intuitive Machines released a statement confirming that flight controllers had verified Odysseus' upright position and the initiation of data transmission. 

READ MORE: NASA Aims to Put Humanoid Robots in Space to Do Dangerous Jobs

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