March 6, 2024 at 7:29 am

NASA’s New Moon Lander From Private Company Intuitive Machines Isn’t Working Out As Expected

by Trisha Leigh

Source: NASA

When you hear something like “NASA is having trouble with their new gadget,” you might be tempted to think that means a major setback before the next great leap for mankind.

The thing about NASA is, though, that problems never really stand in their way for long.

Recently, it’s their moon lander that’s giving them fits.

Source: NASA

The Odysseus lander has touched down and is online, beaming images back to Earth. According to Intuitive Machines, the company that built it, though, they don’t believe they’ll be in communication for much longer.

“Flight controllers intend to collect data until the lander’s solar panels are no longer exposed to light. Based on Earth and Moon positioning, we believe flight controllers will continue to communicate with Odysseus until Tuesday morning.”

And this is only the latest in a string of issues with the mission.

The lander, which was funded by NASA and launched on a SpaceX rocket, had issues with its positioning lasers after liftoff. NASA had to pull a fast one just to get it to land safely.

Once landed, it tripped over a rock and landed on its side. Also, the camera isn’t really working.

Overall, it’s not good news for the plan to use private contractors to deliver goods to the lunar surface.

It’s better than the previous venture, in which the vehicle never even made it out of Earth’s atmosphere, but still.

They might have to rethink this public-private endeavor thing.

Or maybe they’ll pull yet another rabbit out of their hat.

If you think that’s impressive, check out this story about a “goldmine” of lithium that was found in the U.S. that could completely change the EV battery game.