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50 years after the last US moon landing, the first private mission reaches the Moon

2024-02-22T22:01:59.007Z

Highlights: The Odysseus module, from the company Intuitive Machines, will land on the moon this Thursday and will be there for about a week. The mission, unmanned and without return to Earth, seeks to pave the way for a sustainable human presence. Before, it already sent the first images of the satellite's surface. The module was scheduled to land this Thursday at 5:49 p.m. Eastern time (10:49 GMT) but it was brought forward by more than an hour.


The Odysseus module, from the company Intuitive Machines, will land on the moon this Thursday and will be there for about a week. Before, it already sent the first images of the satellite's surface. The mission, unmanned and without return to Earth, seeks to pave the way for a sustainable human presence. What the "first gallery" of lunar art will be like.


The

Odysseus module

, which is scheduled to land on the Moon this Thursday in what will be the United States' first lunar landing in more than half a century, sent a photo of the lunar surface before its landing scheduled for 4:24 p.m. American, two hours earlier than in Argentina.

It is also the first private mission to travel to the satellite.

The photo taken by the module of the American company Intuitive Machines shows northern sectors of the Moon as it heads towards the South Pole, an unexplored region, according to the American space agency NASA.

The Texas company, which will make history as the first American to set foot on the Moon, detailed that Odysseus's navigation camera captured the image "of the

Bel'kovich K crater in the northern equatorial highlands of the Moon."

He stressed that the image, which shows a grayish surface with undulations, is a crater approximately 50 kilometers in diameter with mountains in the center, formed when this ecosystem was formed, according to the EFE agency.

The Earth seen from the Intuitive Machines module preparing for the moon landing.

AFP Photo

Odysseus took off on February 15 from Florida with several NASA experiments and is expected to land this Thursday on the Moon, where it will have a few days to carry out its experiments before it practically freezes, due to the low lunar temperatures.

The module was scheduled to land this Thursday at 5:49 p.m. Eastern time (10:49 p.m. GMT), but Intuitive Machines reported at the last minute that they carried out "some correction maneuvers" that brought forward the landing by more than an hour.

Odysseus, from the Nova-C series, has about seven days before lunar night arrives at the south pole, leaving him inoperable.

This module, 4.3 meters high and weighing 675 kilos, and the first American module to reach the Moon after Apollo 17 in 1972, is not expected to return to Earth.

Specifically, the landing will be in the vicinity of the Malapert massif, about 300 kilometers from the south pole of the Moon, an area full of "uncertainty," according to NASA experts.

Before touching down on the Moon, Odysseus captured the image of the "Bel'kovich K crater."

AFP Photo

Researchers believe the area is composed of lunar highland material, similar to the Apollo 16 landing site.

El objetivo principal de esta misión, la IM-1, es llevar instrumentos científicos y demostraciones tecnológicas al polo sur de la Luna.

Odiseo viajó a bordo de un cohete Falcon 9 de la compañía SpaceX que despegó la madrugada del 15 de febrero pasado sin contratiempos desde el Complejo de Lanzamiento 39A del Centro Espacial Kennedy de la NASA, en el centro de Florida.

Se trata de la segunda misión de la iniciativa de Servicios Comerciales de Carga Útil Lunar (CLPS) de la NASA, después del Peregrine, y forma parte también del programa Artemis de regreso a la Luna.

En enero pasado, el módulo Peregrine, de la empresa Astrobotic Technology falló en su intento de aterrizar en la Luna con cargas de la NASA y otras comerciales debido a problemas de abastecimiento de combustible, entre otros.

Según Intuitive Machines, la misión busca crear una plataforma económica que llevará consigo instrumentos científicos de la NASA a la Luna, como también carga comercial, para allanar el camino para una presencia humana sostenible en ese satélite natural y sus alrededores.

El sitio del alunizaje es una de las 13 regiones que la NASA está considerando para la misión Artemis III, que será la primera misión tripulada de alunizaje de ese programa y el primer vuelo tripulado del módulo de aterrizaje Starship HLS, de SpaceX.

Entre una variedad instrumentos de la NASA que lleva Odiseo, están algunos para una mejor medición del combustible y cámaras para capturar sonido e imágenes fijas de la columna de polvo creada por el módulo cuando comienza su descenso a la superficie lunar hasta que se apaga.

Odiseo, que no regresará a la Tierra mide más de 4 metros y pesa casi 700 kilos. Foto AFP

También aparatos para estudiar la interacción de la actividad natural y el hombre y para analizar la velocidad y dirección del vehículo y la distancia a la superficie con alta precisión durante el descenso hasta el aterrizaje.

Odiseo lleva a la Luna obras de Koons para la "primera galería" de arte en su superficie

Unas esculturas diminutas de las fases lunares del artista Jeff Koons van camino a la Luna a bordo del módulo estadounidense Odiseo, en el marco de un proyecto que será "la primera galería de arte" en el satélite natural de la Tierra.

Fue posible gracias a la alianza del artista estadounidense con la compañía espacial 4SPACE y su fundadora, Chantelle Baier, que diseñó el cubo transparente, llamado "Galería de Arte", que protege, lleva y exhibirá las pequeñas lunas.

La obra de arte, titulada "Fases lunares", hace parte de la carga comercial del Odiseo, un módulo de aterrizaje de Intuitive Machines, que espera hacer su aterrizaje este jueves como la primera empresa privada estadounidense en posarse en la Luna.

The IM-1 mission to land on the Moon has triumphed over numerous challenges, showcasing exceptional resilience, innovation, and teamwork.



Intuitive Machines expects to land on the Moon at 1649 CST on Thursday, February 22nd.

pic.twitter.com/gKbek2222S

— Intuitive Machines (@Int_Machines) February 20, 2024

The work of the famous Koons consists of 125 stainless steel sculptures approximately one inch in diameter (2.5 centimeters) and is part of the commercial cargo of the module, which mainly carries NASA experiments.

Each of the sculptures corresponds to the different phases and points of view of the Moon, and is named after famous names such as Leonardo da Vinci, Plato, David Bowie, Cleopatra or Andy Warhol.

"The works of art are associated with people who achieved important achievements," says a statement from the project, titled 'To the Moon with Love.'

The work is expected to be permanently placed near the South Pole, where Odysseus plans to land on the moon this Thursday, according to the US space agency NASA.

Source: clarin

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