Article Image

IPFS News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

SPACE ODYSSEY: Nova-C Lunar Mission Takes off in Florida...

•, By Paul Serran

Odysseus has departed on a perilous journey that is larger-than-life. No, we are not talking about the mythological hero Ulysses from the immortal Odyssey and Iliad – but the new American spacecraft that is embarking in a mission that is every bit as fantastic.

We are talking about a solar-powered lunar lander lifted off from Florida early on Thursday on a mission to become the first private spacecraft to achieve a controlled moon landing.

The Guardian reported:

"Odysseus, the working name for the uncrewed Nova-C lander built by the Houston-based aerospace company Intuitive Machines, lit up the skies above Cape Canaveral shortly after 1am on a Falcon 9 rocket from Elon Musk's SpaceX company.

Its scheduled 22 February touchdown near the moon's south pole would be the first lunar landing of a US spacecraft since Nasa's final Apollo mission in December 1972, and the first by a non-government entity. It will deliver a suite of scientific equipment belonging to the agency that will gather data about the lunar environment to help prepare for the next landing of US astronauts, the Artemis III mission currently scheduled for 2026."

Intuitive Machines, owned by a former Nasa's director of engineering, invested about $130m into the IM-1 mission, with Nasa funding a further $118m to get it off the ground.