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Intuitive Machines’ lunar lander embarks on a journey to the satellite

Intuitive Machines’ Odysseus lunar lander has begun its journey to the Moon and could make history as the first private lunar lander to land on Earth’s natural satellite.

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The module was carried into space by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 booster, which has flown 17 times before and could fly again in the future, having returned safely to Earth at SpaceX’s Landing Zone 1. Both SpaceX and Intuitive Machines confirmed that Odysseus successfully separated from its launch vehicle and began its flight to the Moon.

In particular, Intuitive Machines has planned to land Odysseus in the area of ​​the Malapert A crater near the south pole of the Moon on February 22. Odysseus, the first of Intuitive Machines’ Nova-C-type lunar landers planned this year, carries five NASA science instruments and commercial cargo.

The mission’s objectives are to demonstrate a precision landing, test certain navigation and communications functions, and observe the interaction of engine jets and space weather with the lunar surface.

The IM-1 mission was one of those selected by NASA to carry scientific instruments to the Moon in the coming years as part of the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program. The first CLPS mission to launch was Astrobotic’s Peregrine Mission 1, which unfortunately experienced a malfunction that resulted in a failed landing.

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