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The American Odysseus probe was stopped on the moon –

The American Odysseus probe was stopped on the moon –

The US special probe Odysseus, which was on the moon for a week, was put into hibernation at the end of its main mission. But the company that developed it, Intuitive Machines, hopes to be able to restart it at the end of the lunar night.

“Good night, Audi,” the Texas startup said on the X, calling the device by its nickname. “We hope to hear from you again.” On February 22, Odysseus became the first private probe to land on the Moon, and the first American spacecraft to do so since the end of the Apollo program in 1972.

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Because of a malfunction in its navigation system, it approached the lunar surface too quickly during its landing, breaking at least one of its six feet. Once positioned, it tilted and found itself tilted at about 30 degrees. But some of its solar panels were still able to keep working and providing power.

Since then, Odysseus has transmitted images and scientific data, particularly those collected by NASA instruments on board. The landing mission was originally supposed to last about seven days, before lunar night settled over the South Pole, the area where Odysseus landed.

Icy cold ahead

But on Wednesday, Steve Altemus, president of Intuitive Machines, said the company would try to contact the probe again “in two or three weeks,” once the sun appears high enough above the horizon.

However, it is uncertain whether the device, especially its batteries, will survive the extreme cold that is about to set in. Even if the Japanese lunar probe SLIM manages to do it this month. NASA and Intuitive Machines, dubbed Odysseus, have both successfully landed on the moon.

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“Farewell Broadcast”

Odysseus is the probe that landed in the southernmost part of the moon, an area of ​​special importance to the superpowers because there is water in the form of ice that can be exploited. NASA wants to explore this region using robots like this before sending its astronauts there, as part of the Artemis missions.

“Before running out of energy, Odysseus sent a fitting farewell message,” Intuitive Machines said Thursday, accompanying its message with a photo of the moon's surface taken last week, with Earth in the background. “A subtle reminder of humanity's presence in the universe,” the company said.