A Spacecraft Named Odysseus Prepares to Launch to the Moon, Again

A Spacecraft Named Odysseus Prepares to Launch to the Moon, Again

Another month, one other day, one other attempt on the moon.

A robotic lunar lander is scheduled to launch within the early morning hours of Thursday, in the future after a technical glitch postponed the primary launch try. If all goes nicely, it’s going to turn into the primary American spacecraft to set down softly on the moon’s floor for the reason that Apollo 17 moon touchdown in 1972.

It can be the most recent personal effort to ship spacecraft to the moon. Earlier makes an attempt have all resulted in failure. But the corporate in command of the most recent effort, Intuitive Machines of Houston, is optimistic.

“I really feel pretty assured that we’re going to achieve success softly touching down on the moon,” stated Stephen Altemus, the president and chief govt of Intuitive Machines. “We’ve carried out the testing. We’ve examined and examined and examined. As a lot testing as we may do.”

The Intuitive Machines lander, named Odysseus, is scheduled to launch at 1:05 a.m. Eastern time on Thursday on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. About two hours earlier than the launch, NASA and SpaceX each introduced that climate continued to be about 90 % favorable to permit a launch to go ahead.

SpaceX and NASA will stream protection of the launch starting at 12:20 a.m. Eastern time. You can watch the video within the participant embedded above.

SpaceX introduced late on Tuesday that it was suspending a launch try on Wednesday morning. The firm stated in a submit on X that the temperature of methane gas for the lander was “off-nominal.” That drawback was overcome on Thursday. About a half-hour earlier than liftoff, the spacecraft was absolutely loaded with propellants and loading of the Falcon 9 rocket obtained underway.

If one other technical drawback or dangerous climate delays the launch, SpaceX can attempt once more on Friday.

If the launch happens this week, the touchdown will likely be on Feb. 22 close to a crater named Malapert A. (Malapert A is a satellite tv for pc crater of the bigger Malapert crater, which is called after Charles Malapert, a Seventeenth-century Belgian astronomer.)

Odysseus will enter orbit across the moon about 24 hours earlier than the touchdown try.

The touchdown web site, about 185 miles from the south pole on the close to facet of the moon, is comparatively flat, a neater location for a spacecraft to land. No American spacecraft has ever landed on the lunar south pole, which is a spotlight of many house businesses and corporations as a result of it might be wealthy in frozen water.

Intuitive Machines calls its spacecraft design Nova-C and named this explicit lander Odysseus. It is a hexagonal cylinder with six touchdown legs, about 14 ft tall and 5 ft broad. Intuitive Machines factors out that the physique of the lander is roughly the dimensions of an previous British cellphone sales space — that’s, just like the Tardis within the “Doctor Who” science fiction tv present.

At launch, with a full load of propellant, the lander weighs about 4,200 kilos.

NASA is the principle buyer for the Intuitive Machines flight; it’s paying the corporate $118 million to ship its payloads. NASA additionally spent a further $11 million to develop and construct the six devices on the flight:

  • A laser retroreflector array to bounce again laser beams.

  • A LIDAR instrument to exactly measure the spacecraft’s altitude and velocity because it descends to the lunar floor.

  • A stereo digicam to seize video of the plume of mud kicked up by the lander’s engines throughout touchdown.

  • A low-frequency radio receiver to measure the consequences of charged particles close to the lunar floor on radio indicators.

  • A beacon, Lunar Node-1, to show an autonomous navigation system.

  • An instrument within the propellant tank that’s to make use of radio waves to measure how a lot gas stays within the tank.

The lander can be carrying just a few different payloads, together with a digicam constructed by college students at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida; a precursor instrument for a future moon telescope; and an artwork venture by Jeff Koons.

On Jan. 8, Astrobotic Technology despatched its Peregrine lander towards the moon. But a malfunction with its propulsion system shortly after launch prevented any chance of touchdown. Ten days later, as Peregrine swung again towards Earth, it burned up within the ambiance above the Pacific Ocean.

Both Odysseus and Peregrine are a part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services program, or CLPS. The object of this system is to make use of industrial firms to ship experiments to the moon fairly than NASA constructing and working its personal moon landers.

“We’ve all the time considered these preliminary CLPS deliveries as being form of a studying expertise,” Joel Kearns, the deputy affiliate administrator for exploration in NASA’s science mission directorate, stated throughout a information convention on Tuesday.

The house company hopes this strategy will likely be less expensive, permitting it to ship extra missions extra steadily because it prepares to ship astronauts again to the moon as a part of its Artemis program.



Express your views here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Disqus Shortname not set. Please check settings

Written by Admin

Britain Confronts Fears of a (Gasp!) Tea Shortage

Britain Confronts Fears of a (Gasp!) Tea Shortage

Waterline Square connects the tranquil Hudson River, Liberty Square and the Upper West Side

Waterline Square connects the tranquil Hudson River, Liberty Square and the Upper West Side