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Moon touchdown: US lander efficiently touches down in ‘big leap ahead for all of humanity’ | Science & Tech Information

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The Odysseus lander has efficiently touched down after a “nail-biting” descent noticed the primary ever privately owned craft attain the moon’s floor.

The Intuitive Machines’ lander can be the primary US lander to efficiently attain the moon in additional than 50 years – because the final of NASA’s Apollo programme in 1972.

There was applause and cheers within the Houston management room as touchdown success was confirmed after just a few tense minutes.

“I do know this was a nail-biter, however we’re on the floor, and we’re transmitting,” Intuitive Machines CEO Steve Altemus stated.

“Welcome to the moon.”

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This was the scene at Intuitive Machines HQ in Houston after groups heard the spacecraft had reached the moon’s floor

Flight controllers at Intuitive Machines in Houston celebrate the landing Pic: Intuitive Machines via AP
Flight controllers at Intuitive Machines in Houston have fun the touchdown Pic: Intuitive Machines by way of AP

The 14-ft tall, six-footed carbon fibre and titanium lander descended from a moon-skimming orbit and guided itself to the floor, trying to find a comparatively flat spot among the many cliffs and craters to make its touchdown close to the south pole.

Again on Earth, the group needed to wait effectively previous the anticipated landing time for affirmation that there was a sign earlier than celebrating.

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New moon mission defined

Odysseus was launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, final week.

The final time a US craft made an analogous descent was in 1972, when Apollo 17’s Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt have been aboard, and the pair stay the final people to have walked on the moon.

Don’t underestimate significance of latest moon landing

FILE - This photo provided by Intuitive Machine's IM-1 Nova-C lunar lander in Houston in October 2023. The company aims to launch the lander in mid-February 2024, on a SpaceX rocket.
Intuitive Machine’s IM-1 Nova-C lunar lander. Pic: Intuitive Machine by way of AP

NASA administrator Invoice Nelson known as the mission a “triumph” and a “big leap ahead for all of humanity”.

In a televised assertion following the profitable touchdown, he stated: “At this time for the primary time in additional than half a century the US has returned to the moon.

“For the primary time within the historical past of humanity, an American firm launched and led the voyage up there.

“At this time is a day that reveals the facility and promise of NASA’s business partnerships.

“Congratulations to everybody concerned on this nice and daring quest at Intuitive Machines, SpaceX and proper right here at NASA.

“What a triumph – Odysseus has taken the moon. This feat is a huge leap ahead for all of humanity. Keep tuned.”

This image from video provided by SpaceX via NASA TV shows Intuitive Machines' lunar lander separating from the rocket's upper stage and heading toward the moon, on Feb. 15, 2024. (SpaceX -NASA TV via AP)
Intuitive Machines’ lunar lander separating from the rocket’s higher stage and heading towards the moon. Pic: SpaceX by way of AP

NASA is the mission’s principal sponsor, paying $118m (£93.5m) to place its experiments on board as a part of a programme which might finally see astronauts return to the moon later within the decade.

The area company has ambitions to make lunar journeys a extra common affair and, finally, construct a base on the moon.

Odysseus can be carrying six different payloads from business firms.

It has landed nearer to the moon’s south pole than every other craft.

The area has many extra craters, cliffs and boulders than the equator, the place the Apollo landings have been within the 60s and 70s.

Scientists hope to seek out layers of ice, or maybe Arctic-style permafrost, from which they’ll create hydration for astronauts – one thing which might allow them to remain for extended missions.

Intuitive Machines’ entry is the newest in a collection of touchdown makes an attempt by nations and personal outfits trying to discover the moon and, if potential, capitalise on it.

Japan made a touchdown final month, becoming a member of the US, Russia, China and India within the membership of nations to have visited the floor.

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