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Houston’s Intuitive Machines Becomes the First U.S. Company to Achieve Successful Lunar Landing Since Apollo

Intuitive Machines is the first U.S. commercial company to successfully achieve an uncrewed lunar landing since Apollo’s 1972 mission.

On February 22 at 6:23 p.m. EST, Intuitive Machines’ first mission (IM-1) landed Odysseus “Odie” on the Moon as part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative for Artemis – the return of humans to the Moon.

Founded in 2013, the Houston-based company focuses on leading space exploration as an infrastructure company that creates cutting-edge solutions to solve some of humanity’s most formidable challenges.

In 2019, NASA tasked Intuitive Machines with its first mission to land a suite of payloads on the Moon. Over the next four years, Intuitive Machines built a space program at its spaceport facility in Houston, TX developing its first NOVA-C class lunar lander (Odysseus), mission control center and Lunar Telemetry and Tracking Network (LTN) to collect spacecraft data.

With Artemis in mind, NASA has partnered with other private commercial companies to successfully soft land a lunar lander to help lay the foundation of Artemis, though they did not originate from the U.S.

In 2019, a spacecraft built by Israel-based company SpaceIL crashed onto the Moon’s surface. And again in 2023, Japan-based company Ispace lost control of its lander as it careened toward the Moon’s surface.

A most recent U.S. attempt on January 8 by Pittsburgh-based company Astrobotic Technology failed to make its way to the Moon when its Peregrine lunar lander suffered a severe issue with its propulsion systems and fuel leakage.

The NOVA-C class lander produced by Intuitive Machines is a carbon composite structure with a honeycomb aluminum core, face sheets and linerless composite propellant tanks, making it as light as possible for flight. Odysseus carried six NASA payloads setting the foundation for Artemis. As of this press in time, Intuitive Machines shares the following update about Odysseus.

Lunar Surface Day One Update, Intuitive Machines:

“Odysseus is alive and well. Flight controllers are communicating and commanding the vehicle to download science data. The lander has good telemetry and solar charging. We continue to learn more about the vehicle’s specific information (Lat/Lon), overall health, and attitude (orientation).”

The company will host a LIVE press conference at 5 p.m. EST on Friday, Feb. 23 detailing Odysseus’ historic soft Moon landing.

For related articles please visit, Spotlight | Jose Ortiz: “If you can dream it, you can achieve it” ( and Houston’s Commercial Aerospace Company Sends NOVA-C Lunar Lander to the Moon – Space Center Houston

To watch Intuitive Machines LIVE landing on NASA TV, please visit IM-1 | Intuitive Machines.

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