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Odysseus landed on the moon

Odysseus landed on the moon

A fictional image of Odysseus on the moon (Image: Intuitive Machines)

Fifty-two years later, the first American spacecraft, Odysseus, successfully landed, and at the same time was the first private probe to land on Earth's companion planet. Odysseus was launched by Intuitive Machines, a private American company based in Houston. Several customers, including NASA, were carrying equipment on board, and it arrived at the moon's surface in the early hours of Friday, Hungarian time.

“What a victory: Odysseus has conquered the moon,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson exulted in his video message. “This achievement is a giant leap for all of humanity.” This is clearly a reference to what Neil Armstrong said when he paused for a moment on the bottom rung of the stairs after exiting the Apollo 11 lunar shuttle. For NASA, it is extremely important for private companies to become successful in transportation between the Earth and the Moon, as it wants to rely on them for missions Transportation that will become necessary during the Artemis program.

Odysseus landed near the south pole of the moon. Over the past months, many competitors have tried the same trick, but so far all investigations have failed. This landing did not go smoothly either, during the landing the controllers had to solve a navigation problem that could have caused the mission to fail. Even after landing, it took some time for the first signs of a successful landing to appear. Although these were eventually completed, at the time of writing, the condition of the spacecraft and potential damage to it were still unclear.

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As we wrote a few days ago, the probe carried, for example, a stereo camera, which will be used to create a very detailed spatial image of the dust cloud that formed upon landing, and a radio antenna, which will be used to investigate. Effect of radio interference of charged particles. In addition to NASA's payload, a camera made by American university students and an art project by Jeff Koons were also placed in the probe's cargo hold. The spacecraft weighs 1,900 kilograms when fully fueled and loaded with payload.

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