Private moon lander Odysseus sends first images from space  

Intuitive Machines’ private moon lander Odysseus, which is currently on its way to the moon, has successfully transmitted the first images from space to earth on February 16, 2024.

Intuitive Machines’ IM-1 mission, which is carrying the Odysseus moon lander, was launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Thursday, February 15, 2024.

The lander captured these images shortly after its separation from the Falcon 9 rocket’s second stage, which happened around 48 minutes after liftoff.

Odysseus moon lander takes first selfie with Earth from space
Odysseus moon lander takes first selfie with Earth from space. (Image credit: Intuitive Machines)

The images show the Odysseus moon lander which takes few selfies with Earth in the dark background of space. 

Currently, the Odysseus moon lander is in excellent health in space and its liquid methane and liquid oxygen propulsion engines have been successfully ignited. 

Odysseus moon lander takes another selfie from space
Odysseus moon lander takes another selfie with Earth from space. (Image credit: Intuitive Machines)

If all goes according to plan, then the mission’s Odysseus lander will land on the afternoon of February 22, 2024, near the Malapert A crater, a region near the moon’s south pole.

Related article: Intuitive Machines’ private lander headed towards Moon’s south pole 

It’s the first journey to the moon of the Houston-based space exploration company Intuitive Machines under NASA’s CLPS initiative.

NASA is wanting to build a permanent crewed base on the lunar south pole region through its Artemis program in the late 2020s.

Before sending astronauts to the moon, NASA awarded contracts to several US companies to carry scientific instruments through their robotic spacecraft, and NASA named it a CLPS (Commercial Lunar Payload Services) initiative.

IM-1 is the second mission under NASA’s CLPS initiative, which is carrying six scientific instruments of NASA.

However, the first mission, called Peregrine Mission One, under NASA’s CLPS initiative, failed and was operated by another US company, Astrobotic. 

Related article: Know about the failure of first lunar mission under NASA’s CLPS initiative  

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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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