Private company successfully puts lander on Moon

It’s the first lander to reach the moon from the U.S. in decades.

Private lunar lander company Intuitive Machines made the first U.S. landing on the moon in over 50 years on Thursday. 

Driving the news: The lunar lander, named Odysseus, reached the moon after departing from Kennedy Space Center in Florida and maneuvered into a low lunar orbit to prepare for touchdown.


  • Intuitive Machines is the first private business to achieve a successful lunar landing, a milestone previously accomplished by only five countries.
  • The company’s lander carried out this mission with the support of NASA, which funded the project with $118 million to build and fly the lander.
  • The landing site was targeted around 186 miles shy of the south pole, closer to the pole than any other spacecraft has come, in an area with potential frozen water deposits.
  • In addition to NASA’s experiments, the lander carried items such as insulating jacket fabric, mini moon figurines by sculptor Jeff Koons, and cameras from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for capturing images during the landing.
  • The solar-powered lander was designed to operate for about a week until the start of the long lunar night.
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