Sideways touchdown cuts short Odysseus lander's moon mission

Odysseus lunar lander
Odysseus lunar lander Copyright AP/Intuitive Machines
Copyright AP/Intuitive Machines
By Euronews with AP
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The company says one of the lander's feet caught on the lunar surface causing it to tip over onto its side.


Flight engineers are expecting to lose contact on Tuesday with a private US lunar lander, Odysseus, cutting short its mission by five days.

It made history last Thursday by becoming the first US spacecraft to land on the moon in more than 50 years.

But the company behind the spacecraft, Intuitive Machines, said it came in too fast and one of its six feet caught on the lunar surface causing it to fall over.

The lander was due to conduct a suite of experiments that it was hoped would provide data useful for future missions to the moon.

NASA, which plans to land astronauts near the south pole in the next few years, paid the company almost €109 million to deliver six experiments to the lunar surface.

Other customers also had items on board.

It remains to be seen how much scientific data might be lost due to the lander’s shorter lifespan

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