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Intuitive Machines’ Odysseus Moon Lander Tipped Over During Landing

From the measurements taken from the inertial measurement sensors, it is highly likely that the Odysseus Moon lander is lying sideways, and its head is tilted against a rock.

The first history-making robot was a privately constructed and operated spacecraft operated by the USA. Despite lying on its side, its condition is said to be good. It is the first robot to have completed a soft lunar touchdown.

Odysseus is still communicating effectively with Earth, says Intuitive Machines, which is the Texan owner of the robot. Pictures are still being retrieved from the robot.

The CEO and co-founder of Intuitive Machines (IM), Steve Altemus, said that the company had no idea what happened to the robot, but it seems like it fell down after stumbling upon a rock on the surface of the Moon, but the robot is still working as it showed some lateral motion before landing.

The other explanation for what happened to the robot seems like Odysseus hurt his leg while moving down during its learning process, but now, according to the sensors, it seems like the robot is present in a horizontal position. Irrespective of how and what happened to the spacecraft, the battery system of the robot is still being charged by the solar cells and the antennas are towards the earth.

Fortunately, all the instruments embedded in the robot system, which were designed to collect observations from the Moon, are present on that side of the spacecraft that is facing up, so it is able to do the work it was designed for. Only a static art project is present on that side of Odysseus, which is facing downwards after the lying down of the device.

The CEO of the owner company, Mr Altemus, said, “We’re hopeful to get pictures and really do an assessment of the structure and assessment of all the external equipment. So far, we have quite a bit of operational capability even though we’re tipped over. And so that’s really exciting for us, and we are continuing the surface operations mission as a result of it.”

The point the robot was planned to reach is the South Pole of the Moon, which is only two to three kilometers away from its point of fall. A satellite launched by the US space agency named Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will try to find the whereabouts of Odysseus.

The mission responsible for sending this robot is the Commercial Lunar Payload Services program launched by NASA, which is paying different American companies to provide cargo services to the moon. The payment made to Odysseus was that of 118 million dollars.

The CTO and co-founder of IM, Tim Crain, said, “Once the Sun sets on ‘Oddie’, the batteries will attempt to keep the vehicle warm and alive but eventually it’ll fall into a deep cold and then the electronics that we produce just won’t survive the deep cold of lunar night. And so, best case scenario, we’re looking at another nine to 10 days (of operations).”

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