Intuitive Machines' Odysseus US Moon landing: Touch down time, how to watch - Hindustan Times
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Intuitive Machines' Odysseus US Moon landing: When will it touch down and how to watch

Feb 22, 2024 04:54 PM IST

Intuitive Machines' Nova-C lunar lander, Odysseus, lifted off on February 15 and is set to touch down on the 22nd.

All set to make history as the first private lunar lander, Intuitive Machines' Odysseus spacecraft is slated to land on the Moon safely on Thursday, February 22. After a 50-year leap, NASA has hopeful plans to make it to the Moon again. If all goes well, ‘Odie’ will be the first private spacecraft to soft-land there, in addition to it being the first successful US lunar mission since Apollo 17 in 1972.

In this photo courtesy of Intuitive Machines, Odysseus passes over the near side of the Moon following lunar orbit during the IM-1 mission on February 21, 2024. An Intuitive Machines Nova-C class lunar lander is bound for the moon, where it will attempt to land near the south pole and carry out experiments that pave the way for the return of American astronauts later this decade. (Photo by Handout / Intuitive Machines / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / INTUITIVE MACHINES" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS(AFP)
In this photo courtesy of Intuitive Machines, Odysseus passes over the near side of the Moon following lunar orbit during the IM-1 mission on February 21, 2024. An Intuitive Machines Nova-C class lunar lander is bound for the moon, where it will attempt to land near the south pole and carry out experiments that pave the way for the return of American astronauts later this decade. (Photo by Handout / Intuitive Machines / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / INTUITIVE MACHINES" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS(AFP)

Through the coming together of the two worlds of the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative and Artemis campaign, Intuitive Machines' first mission to the Moon lifted off on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. Odysseus will bridge the gap between NASA science and the Moon by studying various interactions on the lunar surface when it lands on the South Pole region near Malapert A (185 miles from the pole) on February 22.

If you're wondering how you could be a part of this historic moment, too, then look no further, as NASA brings this feat closer to you instead.

How and when to watch Intuitive Machines' Odysseus moon lander

NASA will be live-streaming the Odysseus landing on YouTube on Thursday, February 22. The main highlights will start at 4:15 pm EST, whereas the Odysseus moon lander was expected to come in contact with the lunar surface around 5:49 pm EST.

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However, NASA has confirmed that the landing opportunity is likely at 5:30 pm EST / 10:30 pm UTC / 4 am IST (February 23) instead. You can also watch the landmark event unfold live on the NASA website and IM-1 Mission web page.

Watch the Intuitive Machines-1 Lunar Landing (Official NASA Broadcast) here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dg2ffigGcYM

The spacecraft will descend to the lunar surface after orbiting the Moon for approximately one day.

What will the Intuitive Machines' mission, labelled IM-1, achieve:

  • The joint project between NASA and the Houston-based private company seeks new insights about the Moon's environment to support future crewed missions (later in 2026) listed under the Artemis campaign.
  • NASA hopes to harvest ice for drinking water and rocket fuel.
  • Investigation of the lunar surface and how it interacts with the engine plume from a spacecraft.
  • Space weather - lunar surface interactions
  • Radio astronomy
  • Precision landing technologies
  • Communication and navigation for future autonomous navigation technologies

Flight controllers of the hexagon-shaped autonomous lander are expected to confirm its touch-down around 15 seconds after the landmark occasion has been achieved. During its descent, the spacecraft will shoot out an “EagleCam” to capture the images of the lander reaching its destination.

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IM-1 is the second commercial mission funded by the US space body with the same intent. This endeavour follows last month's failed Astrobotic Peregrine Mission 1. So far, only China, India and Japan have soft-landed on the Moon in the 21st century.

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