Odysseus lunar module broke one of its legs and overturned

February 29, 2024  18:49

NASA and US private company Intuitive Machines said that the Odysseus (IM-1 Nova-C) module broke one of its six legs while hovering over the landing site, causing the module to overturn.

Intuitive Machines was able to retrieve a snapshot of the landing process from Odysseus' memory, with one of the landing legs performing its primary function of absorbing energy from first contact with the lunar surface to maintain mission integrity.

In addition, during that time the landing gear was still working, which helped to avoid serious injuries. After shutting down the propulsion system, Odysseus almost managed to fix its position on its outriggers, but then turned toward the surface of the Moon, maintaining data and telemetry transmission capability.

According to Intuitive Machines, the Odysseus module lies on its side, has a functioning power system, and transmits telemetry and data from scientific instruments. Flight controllers will continue to maintain contact for several more days until sunlight reaches the device's battery charging panels.

Odysseus was launched into space by SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on February 15, and already on February 21 the device entered the lunar orbit. During its final landing, it used a series of cameras and lasers to navigate the terrain and track its approach to the lunar surface.

As part of the IM-1 mission, Odysseus carried six NASA payloads to the moon, aimed at demonstrating various technologies and including: a navigation laser, a navigation beacon, a radio frequency fuel level sensor and a camera to study regolith, the lunar dust that will be blown into the air. As a result of Odysseus' engine running. Other payloads include a laser retroreflector and a radio astronomy instrument, as well as a work by artist Jeff Koons called "Phases of the Moon."

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