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Intuitive Machines' 'Odysseus' pioneers the moon

Posted February. 24, 2024 08:02,   

Updated February. 24, 2024 08:02


On Thursday (local time), the U.S. aerospace company Intuitive Machines' lunar probe 'Odysseus (Nova-C)' successfully landed on the moon, marking the first time a private company has achieved this milestone. This event comes 52 years after Apollo 17 in 1972, making it the first U.S. spacecraft to land on the moon in over five decades. The successful landing is viewed as a testament to America's entrepreneurial spirit, unafraid of failure, and is seen as ushering in a new era of private space exploration.

On Thursday, Stephen Altemus, CEO of Intuitive Machines, announced the landing news through a live broadcast at 6:23 p.m. (UTC), stating, "We are on the lunar surface and are sending signals properly. This is the fruit of amazing effort." Bill Nelson, director of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), who supported the project, also shared on social media (formerly Twitter), "Today, for the first time in half a century, the United States returned to the moon. This is a victory for all mankind."

Intuitive Machines is a space startup founded by NASA alumni in 2012. The rocket launch vehicle for their lunar probe Odysseus (Nova-C)' was managed by Elon Musk's SpaceX.

Hyoun-Soo Kim kimhs@donga.com