Intuitive Machines Shares Fall After Moon Lander Tips

(Reuters) – Shares of Houston-based Intuition Machines plunged more than 30% on Monday after the space agency said its Odysseus moon lander was tipping over and coming to rest on its side.

The agency, which became the first private company to land on the moon and the first from the United States since 1972, said all but one of its six NASA science and technology payloads would be up and accepting communications.

The payload on its side includes an art piece that includes miniature stainless steel sculptures by artist Jeff Koons, the company said.

The remaining payloads are expected to fulfill their science objectives.

Intuitive shares fell 34% to $6.30 before the early hours on Monday, offsetting Friday's gains, in which nearly 99 million shares changed hands, a record for the stock.

On Friday, the total value of shares traded reached $1.01 billion, surpassing the company's market value of roughly $960 million, according to LSEG data.

The company's shares, which went public about a year ago, are highly volatile as only 18% of shares are available for trading.

The landing will make it easier for other space-focused companies like Rocket Lab, Astra Space and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin to seek investments and steady government contracts.

(Reporting by Akash Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Taseem Zahid)

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