America conducts first Moon landing since 1972

(MENAFN) In a monumental achievement for space exploration, the United States has returned to the Moon after nearly five decades, with the Odysseus lander, designed by private aerospace company Intuitive Machines, making history as the first United States-made spacecraft to touch down on the lunar surface since 1972. Launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on February 15, the 4.3-meter-high lander successfully completed its journey, capturing attention and accolades from the global scientific community.

During the livestream, Intuitive Machines co-founder Tim Crain shared the historic moment, affirming that "without a doubt, our equipment is on the surface of the Moon, and we are transmitting." NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, echoing the significance of the event, proclaimed, "Today for the first time in more than a half-century, the United States has returned to the Moon." Nelson emphasized the achievement as a testament to the power and promise of NASA's commercial partnerships, underscoring the collaborative efforts between public and private entities in advancing space exploration.

As the Odysseus orbited the Moon, it provided a captivating snapshot of the lunar landscape, capturing the Bel’kovich crater in a historic image. The lander is equipped with six NASA research devices, including advanced tools for analyzing lunar soil and studying electron plasma. Notably, the Odysseus also carries a unique contribution from American artist Jeff Koons – a transparent box featuring 125 stainless-steel round sculptures symbolizing the various phases of the Moon.

The event marks a significant departure from the decades-long hiatus in US lunar exploration since the conclusion of the Apollo 17 mission in December 1972. NASA's push to resume lunar exploration gained momentum with the Artemis II mission, initially planned for a crewed lunar flyby. However, the agency announced last month that the mission has been delayed until September 2025, with astronauts expected to return to the Moon in September 2026. This groundbreaking achievement with the Odysseus lander paves the way for renewed enthusiasm and advancements in space exploration, emphasizing the transformative impact of public-private collaboration in pushing the boundaries of human exploration beyond Earth.


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