NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spots Odysseus moon lander

We didn’t get any images of Odysseus spacecraft on the lunar surface since its landing on the lunar surface on Thursday, February 22, 2024, at 6:23 p.m. EST (23:23 UTC).

However, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft, which has been orbiting the moon since 2009, spotted Intuitive Machines’ Odysseus moon lander on February 24 at 1:57 p.m. EST (18:57 UTC) when it was passing over the landing site at an altitude of about 56 miles (90 km).

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft spotted the Odysseus lander on the lunar surface on February 24, 2024
NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft spotted the Odysseus lander on the lunar surface on February 24, 2024. (Image credit: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University)

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) camera spotted Odysseus moon lander within a 1 km-diameter crater on a slope of about 12 degrees, at 80.13°S and 1.44°E.

According to the statement of Intuitive Machines shared on X (former Twitter):

“Images from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera team confirmed Odysseus completed its landing at 80.13°S and 1.44°E at a 2579 m elevation. After traveling more than 600,000 miles, Odysseus landed within 1.5 km of its intended Malapert A landing site.”

Though the Odysseus moon lander tipped over on the lunar surface during landing, it is still operating on the lunar surface.

Related article: Odysseus moon lander tipped over on the lunar surface during landing

However, the solar-powered Odysseus moon lander would be operating on the lunar surface until the morning of Tuesday, February 27, 2024.

According to the statement of Intuitive Machines shared on X (former Twitter):

“Flight controllers intend to collect data until the lander’s solar panels are no longer exposed to light. Based on Earth and Moon positioning, we believe flight controllers will continue to communicate with Odysseus until Tuesday morning.”

Related article: US private moon lander Odysseus makes historic lunar landing 

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft also spotted Japan’s SLIM moon lander on the lunar surface on January 24, 2024, after landing.

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Ashim

Ashim Chandra Sarkar founded Space & Telescope in 2022. He holds a M.Sc. in physics and has five years of research experience in optical astronomy. His passion for astronomy inspired him to open this website. He is responsible for the editorial vision of spaceandtelescope.com.

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