USA lands again on the moon after 50 years

USA lands again on the Moon after 50 years

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Celebrating the country's first landing this decade, the private American company Intuitive Machines arrived on the lunar soil this Thursday (22)

This Thursday (22), an American spacecraft returned to land on the Moon after 50 years. The arrival was carried out by the company Intuitive machines in partnership with the American space agency NASA. The launch was carried out 7 days ago by the company founded in 2013 with the aim of carrying out a lunar program, giving access to the surface of Earth's natural satellite and enabling communications from our planet to the region, which is an important step towards the return of Earth. man on the Moon by the US Space Agency.

Despite technical problems involving communication with the spacecraft module during the mission, the landing was successful and the company claims that it will soon obtain the first images recorded on the lunar surface.

Odysseus Details

USA lands again on the moon after 50 years. Celebrating the country's first landing this decade, the private American company intuitive machines arrived on the lunar soil this Thursday (22)
The Odysseus space probe promises to open the way for man to return to the Moon. (Image: Intuitive Machines)

The Odysseus space probe, developed by Intuitive machines, marked a historic feat by successfully landing on the moon on February 22. This event not only represents the first lunar landing performed by a privately developed spacecraft, but it is also the first American landing on the moon in over fifty years.

Odysseus, with its six “legs”, was developed with high-tech scientific instruments with the aim of preparing the ground for future human explorations on the Moon through the SCHEDULE Artemis.

I know this was breathtaking, but we are on the surface and we are broadcasting. Welcome to the Moon!

Steve Altemus, CEO of Intuitive Machines

A Intuitive machines delayed the landing by two hours to perform an additional orbit around the moon. This followed the discovery that the laser rangefinders on the probe, essential to ensuring a precise landing, were not working properly. A creative solution was found by replacing these rangefinders with NASA Lidar Doppler equipment, originally intended as a technology demonstration, and which was being carried with scientific objectives for the Moon.

This mission takes place right after the Astrobotic Technology, another partner company of NASA, canceling its lunar landing attempt hours after the mission began last month. A significant fuel leak left the lander Peregrine without a sufficient amount of gas to complete the descent to the surface.

Understand how the trip happened

the journey of Odysseus began on February 15th, when he took off aboard a rocket SpaceX Falcon 9 for the mission IM-1. After a series of maneuvers and trajectory corrections, the probe entered low lunar orbit on February 21, preparing for the crucial moment of landing.

In addition to marking the first lunar landing by a private spacecraft, the mission IM-1 it was also responsible for transporting a variety of scientific and commercial payloads, as well as equipment used to replace laser rangefinders during the new moon landing. Six of these payloads were provided by NASA through the program Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS), including technology demonstration instruments and research equipment.

In addition to the payloads of NASA, Odysseus carried six other non-NASA, ranging from material testing to scientific experiments and even a work of art. This diverse set of payloads reflects the growing collaboration between the private sector and government agencies in space exploration.

USA lands again on the moon after 50 years. Celebrating the country's first landing this decade, the private American company intuitive machines arrived on the lunar soil this Thursday (22)
Odysseus carries several technologies for tests and experiments on lunar soil. (Image: NASA)

While other previous private missions have faced challenges and failures, the successful Odysseus mission highlights the continued progress and determination of companies and agencies involved in lunar exploration. This milestone not only paves the way for future private missions to the moon, but also demonstrates the potential and viability of public-private partnerships in space exploration.

A Odysseus was targeted at a specific area in the south polar region, a level plain near the crater Malapert A. The landing site is located approximately 185 miles from the Moon's south pole. Some of the craters in this area remain constantly in shadow and are of special interest due to the detection of water ice in them. Previous American lunar missions have focused on areas near the lunar equator.

According to Intuitive machines, Odysseus is operating normally and fully operational. Flight controllers are in communication and commanding the probe to download scientific data. O lander It has good telemetry and is being charged using solar energy. The company continues to learn more about the probe's specific information about its location and overall health at this time.

Who is the company behind the mission?

USA lands again on the moon after 50 years. Celebrating the country's first landing this decade, the private American company intuitive machines arrived on the lunar soil this Thursday (22)
NASA's partner company paves the way for a new moon landing. (Image: Intuitive Machines)

A Intuitive machines is a private space technology company headquartered in Houston, Texas, in the United States. Its main objective is to provide innovative solutions for space exploration and the development of advanced technologies for space missions. The company focuses on projects ranging from the development of space vehicles to the creation of specialized systems and equipment for use in Earth orbit and beyond, including the moon and other celestial bodies in the solar system.

The company maintains a collaborative and partnership relationship with NASA. This collaboration manifests itself in several forms, including contracts, research and development agreements, and participation in joint programs and initiatives, as is the case with the IM-1 mission. A prominent example of this relationship is the involvement of Intuitive machines in the program Commercial Lunar Cargo Services (CLPS) of NASA.

Through this program, the NASA hires private companies, such as Intuitive machines, to provide cargo transport services to the Moon. The objective is to enable commercial companies to develop and operate lunar launch and landing systems, allowing NASA carry out low-cost, high-impact scientific and exploratory missions.

The initial contract for this mission had a value of less than US$80 million (about R$399 million). Subsequently, there was a renegotiation and, in total, the Intuitive machines could receive up to US$118 million (around R$589 million) from NASA for this mission.

After the success of the mission, the company aims to continue with additional experiments and tests on the lunar surface. As the journey to return man to the Moon advances rapidly, it is crucial to develop and implement technologies that ensure the safety of future journeys.

Source: SpaceNews, CNN, Intuitive machines.

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Text proofread by: Pedro Bomfim

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