US lunar lander Odysseus broadcasts first images from the IM-1 mission world News

New Delhi: The private spacecraft Odysseus, launched by Houston-based Intuitive Machines aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on February 15, has sent back its first images of the final frontier.

“Intuitive Machines successfully transmitted images of the first IM-1 mission to Earth on February 16, 2024. Images were captured shortly after separation from @SpaceX's second stage on Intuitive Machines' first flight to the Moon under NASA's CLPS Initiative,” The company said on X.

Odysseus, also known as the Nova-C lander, is carrying six NASA experiments and technology demonstrations, as well as six special payloads, on its ongoing IM-1 mission. These instruments will collect valuable data for NASA's Artemis program, which aims to establish a manned base near the moon's south pole by 2030.

Odysseus uses a mixture of liquid methane and liquid oxygen, the same propellant used by SpaceX's Raptor engines. These engines power the company's Starship rocket, which is being developed for future missions to the Moon and Mars.

While Odysseus is progressing well toward his destination, this is not the first effort launched by CLPS. Astrobotic, a Pittsburgh-based company, launched the lunar lander, Peregrine, aboard a United Launch Alliance Vulcan Centaur rocket.

Although the launch itself was successful, Peregrine experienced a fuel leak shortly after separating from the rocket's upper stage, which prevented him from reaching the Moon. The spacecraft was then destroyed in Earth's atmosphere on January 18.

, Odysseus is currently in excellent condition and maintaining contact with Mission Control as he approaches his destination. Intuitive Machines has scheduled the landing attempt for February 22.

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“Intuitive Machines flight controllers successfully fired the first liquid methane and liquid oxygen engine into space, completing mission IM-1 engine operation. This engine firing included a complete burnout of the main propulsion engine and lowering the throttle level needed for the lunar landing. ” The company said in the X post

(With inputs from the agency)

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