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Moon lander Odysseus tipped sideways on lunar surface but ‘alive and well’

The moon lander dubbed Odysseus is 'alive and well' but resting on its side a day after its white-knuckle touchdown as the first private spacecraft ever to reach the lunar surface, and the first from the U.S. since 1972, the company behind the vehicle...


The moon lander dubbed Odysseus is ‘alive and well’ but resting on its side a day after its white-knuckle touchdown as the first private spacecraft ever to reach the lunar surface, and the first from the U.S. since 1972, the company behind the vehicle said on Friday.

Houston-based Intuitive Machines also revealed that human error led to a failure of the spacecraft’s laser-based range finders, how engineers detected the glitch by chance hours before landing time, and how they improvised an emergency fix that saved the mission from a probable crash.

Although the Odysseus made it to the surface intact on Thursday, analysis of data by flight engineers showed the six-legged craft apparently tripped over its own feet as it neared the end of its final descent, company officials said at a briefing the next day.

The spacecraft is believed to have caught one of its landing feet on the uneven lunar surface and tipped over, coming to rest sideways, propped up on a rock at one end, said CEO Stephen Altemus, whose compa
ny built and flew the lander.

Still, all indications are that Odysseus ‘is stable near or at our intended landing site,’ close to a crater called Malapert A in the region of the moon’s south pole, Altemus told reporters.

‘We do have communications with the lander,’ and mission control operators are sending commands to the vehicle, Altemus said, adding that they were working to obtain the first photo images from the lunar surface from the landing site.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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