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The “Odysseus” space probe overturned on the moon – NASA should help

2024-02-25T04:42:22.340Z

Highlights: The “Odysseus” space probe overturned on the moon – NASA should help. As of: February 25, 2024, 5:26 a.m By: Tanja Banner CommentsPressSplit After the first private moon landing, there are questions: Why are the radio signals weaker and where are the images from the Odysseu lander? Houston – The first private lunar landing raises a number of questions that are now gradually being answered. The focus is particularly on the unexpectedly weak radio signal and the lack of publication of images of the ‘Odyseus' lander by company Intuitive Machines.



As of: February 25, 2024, 5:26 a.m

By: Tanja Banner

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After the first private moon landing, there are questions: Why are the radio signals weaker and where are the images from the Odysseus lander?

Houston – The first private moon landing since 1972 raises a number of questions that are now gradually being answered.

The focus is particularly on the unexpectedly weak radio signal and the lack of publication of images of the “Odysseus” lander by the company Intuitive Machines.

Steve Altemus, head of Intuitive Machines, said at a press conference that Odysseus overturned while landing near the moon's south pole.

This was probably due to a leg that got caught during landing.

Nevertheless, there is positive news: “The sun hits the solar cells and charges our batteries,” says Altemus.

“We provide power to the spacecraft and have a 100 percent charge level.

This is fantastic."

Still image from the live stream of the press conference: Steve Altemus explains how the lunar lander “Odysseus” probably landed on the moon.

© dpa/NASA/AP

Some antennas of “Odysseus” point towards the moon’s ground

Most of the lander's equipment located on the side away from the ground should be functional.

Only Jeff Koons' work of art - 125 small steel sculptures - is probably on the side facing the floor.

In addition, some antennas are now aimed at the ground, which makes communication with the lander more difficult.

“We collect data,” Altemus explained at the press conference.

“Odysseus” was stable and arrived at the planned landing site about 300 kilometers from the South Pole.

Originally it was assumed that the lunar lander would stand upright on the lunar surface.

This assumption was based on sensors in the fuel tanks, Altemus said.

The NASA lunar orbiter “Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter” is scheduled to take images of “Odysseus” this weekend and send them to Earth to determine the exact position and orientation of the device.

Why there are no pictures yet of the “Odysseus” lander on the moon

The question about the missing pictures was also answered.

Originally, the “EagleCam” was supposed to be dropped shortly before the moon landing in order to take the first images of a probe landing on the moon.

However, due to navigation problems during the landing approach, which the technical team had to solve quickly using a NASA instrument, it was decided to keep the “EagleCam” on board during the landing.

The camera is still on board “Odysseus” and will be used shortly and could clarify in which position the lunar lander came to a standstill or rested.

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The Intuitive Machines team and the teams that maintain the instruments on board are now trying to collect as much data as possible.

Because time is of the essence: the electronics of the lunar lander are not designed for the cold of the moonlit night.

“We know that the sun will move behind our solar arrays at this landing site in about nine days in any configuration,” explained Tim Crain, co-founder of Intuitive Machines.

“In the best case scenario, we will have another nine to 10 days.”

It should actually look something like this on the moon: The “Odysseus” space probe from the private US company Intuitive Machines should stand upright on the moon.

Instead, it seems to have tipped over.

(Artist's impression) © IMAGO/Intuitive Machines

Moon landing: The Japanese probe “Slim” also did not land upright

The situation is reminiscent of that of the Japanese space probe “Slim,” which landed on the moon in January.

It also failed to stand upright, instead lying upside down, which resulted in its solar panels not receiving sunlight for the first few days after landing.

It was only after a few days that the probe was able to collect enough energy and be reached from Earth.

“Slim” was also not designed for the ice-cold moonlit night and is no longer functional.

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Source: merkur

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