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When will Intuitive Machines’ Odysseus land on the moon?

Published Feb 15th, 2024 6:12PM EST
IM-1 mission lander, Nova C
Image: Intuitive Machines

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Intuitive Machines’ first lunar lander, iconically named the Odysseus lander, is currently on its way to the moon after a successful launch early Thursday morning (February 15). Despite being delayed a day, the SpaceX Falon 9 rocket carrying Odysseus lifted off on time on Thursday.

But the journey is far from over. It’s during this middle point between the launch and landing that Odysseus will need to shine, and so far, the spacecraft is doing just fine. Further, Intuitive Machines says it has a close eye on the lander as it barrels its way through a week-long journey to reach our moon.

But when exactly is Intuitive Machines expecting the Odysseus lander to make contact with the moon’s surface? Currently, the private company is targeting landing on the moon on February 22. Previous attempts to put new landers on the moon have ended in catastrophe, with the Peregrine lander even burning up in Earth’s atmosphere after a propellant leak threw it off course.

Named after the ancient Greek hero, the Nova-C class lander from Intuitive Machines is the first of its kind to include Columbia’s Omni-Heat technology on the lander, forging a new partnership between the space and clothing industry. It’s an unlikely partnership, but it could result in some surprising innovation on both sides of the field.

If the Odysseus lander sticks the landing, it will make Intuitive Machines the first private company ever to land an unmanned spacecraft on the moon. It will also pave the way for future missions from private companies, which could help cut the cost of future missions, allowing NASA to take advantage of piggybacking off other landers to deliver important scientific instruments to different places.

All eyes will be on Odysseus as it makes its way across the miles of space between Earth and the moon, as we all wait to see just how this historic mission plays out.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.