Selfie photo reveals historic moon landing touchdown ended in a broken leg

The first privately built lunar lander touched down on the lunar surface this week, and while Odysseus survived, it has sustained injuries.

1 minute & 17 seconds read time

The first American lunar landing since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972 took place last week, and while the landing has been deemed a success, it wasn't without its problems.

The target landing for the lunar lander named Odysseus was the moon's south pole, and that was achieved on Thursday, February 22. However, due to problems with the lander's navigation system, Odysseus endured a rougher landing than was anticipated. The six-legged historic lander came down much faster than it was supposed to and, unfortunately, touched a section of lunar ground that was higher in elevation than its target zone.

Intuitive Machines CEO Steve Altemus, the company behind the Odysseus lander, explained the "landing gear took the bulk of the load, and we broke one or two, possibly, landing gear" legs. According to the company CEO, the landing gear did exactly what it was designed to do: take the brunt of the landing impact so primary mission objectives could be achieved. Atlemus explained that once momentum came to a halt, the Odysseus lander sat upright for approximately two seconds and then proceeded to tip over, with one of the tanks or other pieces of equipment propping it off the ground.

Selfie photo reveals historic moon landing touchdown ended in a broken leg 262616
Selfie photo reveals historic moon landing touchdown ended in a broken leg 165615

"This image illustrates Odysseus' landing strut performing its primary task, absorbing first contact with the lunar surface to preserve mission integrity. Meanwhile, the lander's liquid methane and liquid oxygen engine is still throttling, which provided stability. The company believes the two insights from this image enabled Odysseus to gently lean into the lunar surface, preserving the ability to return scientific data," wrote Intuitive Machines

As you can probably imagine, Intuitive Machines isn't overly enthusiastic about the orientation of the lander, as its primary solar array is in shadow, and its high-gain antenna is out of commission.

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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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