Here the lunar lander takes off – will be the first private ones on the moon

It has been 52 years since the United States managed to land something on the moon.
But on Thursday morning, the lunar lander Odysseus took off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The intended final destination is the moon – and a successful mission would mean that the company behind it would become the first private actor to land on the moon.

Shortly after seven, what the US hopes will be a historic mission began.

Intuitive Machine’s lunar lander Odysseus is set to become the first US spacecraft to land on the lunar surface since the last Apollo mission in 1972, reports Reuters.

Multiple failures

But there is more at stake than that. If Intuitive Machines succeeds in landing its Odysseus, it would become the first private player to successfully put a craft on the moon, after several failures by other companies.

The latest attempt was made on January 8 by the United Launch Alliance, also the American one. But the attempt failed a few hours after departure. Japan and Israel have also entered the fray without success, according to Reuters.

“Separation confirmed”

But for now, hope lives on for the current mission. After a successful departure, further good news came 48 minutes later.

“IM-1 Odysseus lunar lander separation confirmed,” was heard from the control room.

And even though Intuitive Machines is officially leading the project, both Nasa and Elon Musk’s SpaceX have a hand in the game. The launch was made using SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket – the same type used during Marcus Wandt’s departure.

And if all goes as planned, the lunar lander will land on the moon’s south pole in a week. There, with the help of Nasa’s equipment, it will collect data about the environment ahead of the authority’s planned mission to take astronauts back to the moon.