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Dhaka     Wednesday   17 April 2024

US lands spaceship on the moon for first time in over 50 years

Desk Report || risingbd.com

Published: 10:17, 23 February 2024   Update: 10:17, 23 February 2024
US lands spaceship on the moon for first time in over 50 years

A Houston-based company has landed America's first spaceship on the Moon in more than 50 years, part of a new fleet of NASA-funded, uncrewed commercial robots intended to pave the way for astronaut missions later this decade.

But while flight controllers confirmed they had received a faint signal, it was not immediately clear whether Odysseus, the lander built by Intuitive Machines, was fully functional, with announcers on a live stream suggesting it may have come down off-kilter.

The hexagon-shaped vessel touched down near the lunar south pole at 2323 GMT, having slowed from 4,000 miles (6,500 kilometers) per hour. Images from an external "EagleCam" that was supposed to shoot out from the spacecraft during its final seconds of descent could be released. For the time being, however, nothing is certain.

"Without a doubt our equipment is on the surface of the Moon and we are transmitting," said Tim Crain, the company's chief technology officer. "So congratulations IM team, we'll see how much more we can get from that."

A previous moonshot by another American company last month ended in failure, raising the stakes to demonstrate that private industry has what it takes to repeat a feat last achieved by US space agency NASA during its manned Apollo 17 mission in 1972.

The current mission "will be one of the first forays into the south pole to actually look at the environmental conditions to a place we're going to be sending our astronauts in the future," said senior NASA official Joel Kearns. "What type of dust or dirt is there, how hot or cold does it get, what's the radiation environment? These are all things you'd really like to know before you send the first human explorers."_Agencies.

Dhaka/Nasim