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Intuitive Machines says good night to Odysseus and hopes moon lander will eventually 'phone home'

By James Rogers

Space-exploration company Intuitive Machines hopes its history-making Odysseus moon lander will 'phone home' after the two-week lunar night

Space-exploration company Intuitive Machines Inc. has said good night to its historic Odysseus moon lander and expressed hope that the spacecraft will "phone home" after enduring the cold lunar night.

Odysseus, the first commercial lander to successfully land on the lunar surface, ran out of power Thursday, almost a week after its historic landing near the moon's south pole.

"Before its power was depleted, Odysseus completed a fitting farewell transmission," Intuitive Machines (LUNR) wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, late Thursday. "Received today, this image from February 22nd showcases the crescent Earth in the backdrop, a subtle reminder of humanity's presence in the universe. Goodnight, Odie. We hope to hear from you again."

Related: Odysseus lander 'still kicking' on the moon, says Intuitive Machines

Odysseus reached the lunar surface on Feb. 22, sending the company's stock soaring. Intuitive Machines has had to overcome a number of challenges during the mission - notably, that the lander tipped over during its landing.

But on Wednesday, Intuitive Machines CEO Steve Altemus said that Odysseus was generating solar power. The company has also received data from all of Odysseus' 12 payloads, both NASA and commercial, according to the CEO.

Intuitive Machines is hoping to communicate with Odysseus again after the cold lunar night, which lasts approximately two Earth weeks.

Related: Odysseus lander makes history by reaching moon, as Intuitive Machines' stock rockets 35%

Earlier Thursday, Intuitive Machines said that flight controllers were putting Odysseus into a configuration whereby "he may phone home if and when he wakes up when the sun rises again."

The IM-1 mission is carrying NASA instruments focusing on plume-surface interactions, space-weather and lunar-surface interactions, radio astronomy and precision-landing technologies, along with a communication and navigation node for future autonomous-navigation technologies, according to the space agency.

In January, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's uncrewed Smart Lander for Investigating Moon, or SLIM, landed on the moon, but the probe appeared to be upside down on the lunar surface in an image taken by SLIM's rover. On Monday, the agency confirmed that the SLIM probe had survived a two-week-long lunar night and had maintained its communication capabilities. SLIM's recovery was described as "remarkable" by

Related: Odysseus has 'fundamentally changed the economics of landing on the moon,' says Intuitive Machines

Intuitive Machines shares are up 0.2% Friday. The stock is up 15.6% in the last three months, outpacing the S&P 500 index's SPX gain of 11.8%.

-James Rogers

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03-01-24 1544ET

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