Privately-owned US lunar lander rests on its side on moon

Lunar lander Odysseus made contact with the surface of the moon, only to land on its side. Still, it remains communicative as of Saturday.

Intuitive Machines, Odyssues’ creator and operator, reported its lander is “alive and well” after becoming the first privately-owned lander to reach the moon’s surface and the most recent since 1972. CEO Stephen Altemus speculated one of its landing feet tripped over the rough surface, which caused the fall.

Communications are still possible with Odysseus, but the timeline of functionality is up in the air as its solar panels, positioned at the top, are now in the wrong direction. Its laser-powered range finders are also not working because Intuitive Machines engineers at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida forgot to turn off its safety switch before its seven-day journey.

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