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Odysseus lander on the Moon. NASA showed a photo

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NASA on Monday released a photo of the lunar surface showing the Odysseus lander, the first American spacecraft on the Silver Globe in more than 50 years. According to the machine’s designers, contact with it will be lost a few days earlier than initially expected.

On Thursday, Odysseus, the six-legged lander, reached the Moon. It was the first American landing on the surface of our natural satellite since 1972, and Intuitive Machines became the first private company to successfully place a spacecraft on the Silver Globe.

Odysseus on the Moon

Two days later belonging to NASA The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), which has been orbiting the Moon since 2009, took a photo of its surface showing the location of the lander. The probe was passing about 90 kilometers above the Moon at that point.

The image shows the spacecraft more than a mile away from its planned landing site in the Malapert crater near the moon’s south pole.

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The last hours of the mission

According to the company that built the machine, Intuitive Machines, communication with the spacecraft will be possible by Tuesday, so its scientific mission will end a few days earlier than originally expected.

As reported in one of the posts on Portal X, “flight controllers plan to collect data until the lander’s solar panels are not exposed to sunlight.”

The lander from a different perspective

Monday also showed photos from the lunar surface taken by the lander shortly before landing in the Malapert crater.

A similar photo was published on Friday, a day after landing. It shows the Schomberger crater located in the southern part of the Moon.

Odysseus “stumbled”

Initially, the company expected that the lander would be able to send the first photos from the lunar surface just a few hours after landing, but communication with it turned out to be difficult. Some of the vehicle’s antennas were apparently pointed in the wrong direction after it overturned during landing.

Shortly after landing, it was reported that according to radio signals transmitted to Earth, the probe landed in a vertical position, but during a press conference a day later, the company’s CEO Stephen Altemus said that upon landing, Odysseus apparently stumbles and lies on his side.

Main photo source: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University

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