25/02/2024  Moon lander Odysseus tipped sideways on lunar surface but 'alive and well'


The moon lander dubbed Odysseus is "alive and well" but resting on its side a day after its white-knuckle touchdown as the first private spacecraft ever to reach the lunar surface, and the first from the U.S. since 1972, the company behind the vehicle said on Friday.
Houston-based Intuitive Machine also revealed that human error led to a failure of the spacecraft's laser-based range finders, how engineers detected the glitch by chance hours before landing time, and how they improvised an emergency fix that saved the mission from a probable crash.
Although the Odysseus made it to the surface intact on Thursday, analysis of data by flight engineers showed the six-legged craft apparently tripped over its own feet as it neared the end of its final descent, company officials said at a briefing the next day.
The spacecraft is believed to have caught one of its landing feet on the uneven lunar surface and tipped over, coming to rest sideways, propped up on a rock at one end, said CEO Stephen Altemus, whose company built and flew the lander.