Robot snaps 1st photo of the moon before its historic landing

Houston-based company Intuitive Machines has pushed its Odysseus lander into the moon's orbit ahead of a historic landing if everything goes to plan.

1 minute & 17 seconds read time

The lunar lander that successfully landed on the surface of the Moon on February 22 sent back a photograph of the lunar surface while it began to circle the Moon in preparation for landing.

The lunar lander named Odysseus became the first US-built lander to touch down on the surface of the Moon since the Apollo 17 missions in 1972. Odysseus was constructed by Houston-based company Intuitive Machines, which celebrated its achievement of landing on the lunar surface just a few days ago. However, the landing wasn't without any problems as it appears Odysseus has tipped over, according to Intuitive Machines company CEO Steve Altemus.

Before the landing, Odysseus was instructed to enter the Moon's orbit in preparation for the touchdown, and while the lander approached the Moon's orbit, it captured its target with its Terrain Relative Navigation camera at a distance of approximately 62,137 miles. As for Odysseus now, Altemus said the phone-booth-sized spacecraft likely tipped over after one of its feet caught a rock located on the surface of the Moon, or Odysseus had accidentally landed/fallen into a crater.

Robot snaps 1st photo of the moon before its historic landing 251415

Despite being tipped over, Odysseus remains functional, with some of its solar arrays still being able to generate power, along with some of its antennas remaining in the right orientation to communicate with Earth. Intuitive Machines has said it's currently performing data analysis to get a better idea of the situation Odysseus is facing while also waiting for NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) to pass overhead to take photographs of the lander. Hopefully, more information will be released in the coming days.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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