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The "Odysseus" lander en route to the Moon

The landing scheduled for Thursday 22 February - VIDEO

Intuitive Machines' Nova-C lander, Odysseus, was launched on the night of Thursday 15 February, at 01:53 local time (07:05 Italian), on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The landing is scheduled for Thursday 22 February in the Malapert crater, towards the lunar south pole, where the Nasa scientific crew will spend about a week collecting precious scientific data that will pave the way for future Artemis III lunar explorers.

The lander will carry 6 payloads, which are part of NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative and the Artemis campaign, and include:

  • Ln-1 (Lunar Node Navigation Demonstrator 1)
  • Lra (Laser Retroreflector Series)
  • NDL (Navigation Doppler Lidar for Precise Speed and Range Detection)
  • Rfmg (Radio Frequency Mass Meter)
  • Rolses (Observations of Radio Waves on the Lunar Surface of the Photoelectron Sheath)
  • Scalpss (Stereo Cameras for Studies on the Surface of the Lunar Plume)

On the way to the Moon, NASA instruments will measure the amount of cryogenic fuel in the engines in use; during the descent towards the lunar surface they will test precision landing technologies. Once on the surface they will instead focus on studying the interactions between space weather and the lunar surface and on radio astronomy.

Below, the video:

Vdl - 1256711

AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency