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1st US spacecraft to make moon landing in half century runs into snag

25 February 2024 [21:10] - TODAY.AZ

The first spacecraft to make a US landing on the moon in more than 50 years ran into a snag, Azernews reports citing the Anadolu Agency.

The Odysseus lander touched down on the lunar surface late Thursday, making it the first American spacecraft to make a moon landing since NASA's Apollo missions ended in 1972.

Intuitive Machines, the private Houston, Texas-based company that built the spacecraft, initially said the lander touched down in an upright position at its destination near the moon's south pole.

But CEO Steve Altemus told reporters Friday that the craft "caught a foot in the surface and tipped," according to multiple media outlets.

The lander is believed to be tilted on its side, likely leaning on a rock, said company officials. The mishap damaged some antennas and hampered communications with the spacecraft, but the mission is still ongoing.

“So far, we have quite a bit of operational capability even though we’re tipped over," said Altemus.

Intuitive Machines became the first private company to achieve a moon landing.

NASA reportedly paid $118 million for the mission to deliver scientific payload to the moon.

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