Watch SpaceX gracefully release a moon lander into space

Watch SpaceX gracefully release a moon lander into space

After a failed attempt last month, NASA is back in the lunar game with a new moon mission. This time, they've partnered with Houston-based company Intuitive Machines and their Nova-C lander, Odysseus, for a robotic mission to the lunar south pole.

Liftoff Success:

Launched on February 15th, the mission saw Odysseus gracefully detach from its SpaceX Falcon 9 ride and embark on its journey. Images captured by SpaceX showcase the six-legged lander resembling a "starfish carried away by the blackest of seas."

Communication Established:

Despite initial concerns following previous setbacks, mission controllers quickly established communication with Odysseus, confirming its stability and solar power generation. The scheduled touchdown is set for February 22nd.

A Challenging Legacy:

Landing on the moon is no easy feat. Only a handful of nations have achieved this without mishap, highlighting the immense challenge ahead for Odysseus. Intuitive Machines acknowledges the difficulty but emphasizes the unique opportunity to "softly return the United States to the surface of the Moon for the first time in 52 years."

Collaboration for Lunar Exploration:

This mission is part of NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services program, aiming to utilize private companies for lunar exploration. In exchange for $118 million, Intuitive Machines is tasked with delivering scientific instruments and demonstrating new technologies. Such collaborations aim to establish a regular lunar mission cadence, paving the way for future astronaut landings in 2026 and beyond.

The Race to the Moon Heats Up:

Intuitive Machines isn't the only player in the lunar game. SpaceX's Starship, designed for both cargo and astronauts, is gearing up for its third test flight. Both companies face pressure to successfully land on the moon before 2026, demonstrating their capabilities for future NASA missions.

Eyes on the Prize:

With several missions vying for lunar glory, the coming months promise significant developments in space exploration. Odysseus's success could represent a major step forward for private sector involvement in deep space endeavours, while also reigniting the global space race. Stay tuned as the lunar chapter unfolds!


You’ve come this far…
Why not venture a little further into A.S.S. - our exclusive Australian Space Society. 

And keep thrusting Australia into the deep unknown…


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