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Written by: Juliana Cipolla

For the first time since 1972, the first privately built American spacecraft vehicle has recently landed on the moon. The last US robotic lander was Apollo 17, back in 1972. On February 21, 2024, the US robotic lander Odysseus arrived on the moon. After troubleshooting communications, flight controllers were able to confirm Odysseus is transmitting communications.
The Odysseus landing is the first step in NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration‘s inauguration of transporting around the solar system, investigating and exploring the moon’s surface in hopes of soon sending NASA astronauts out there. To accomplish this feat, NASA entered into agreement with Intuitive Machines under the Commercial Lunar Payload Services program to deliver six instruments to the moon, including a stereo camera and radio receiver.
Odysseus left Earth early on February 15, 2024, aboard a SpaceX rocket and was pulled into lunar orbit on February 20th. After being pulled into lunar orbit, on February 21st, Odysseus fired its engine to begin its successful powered descent to the surface.

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