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Moon landing: US clinches first touchdown in 50 years

23/2/2024 12:19
        A spacecraft built and flown by Texas-based company Intuitive Machines landed near the moon's south pole on Thursday, the first U.S. touchdown on the lunar surface in more than half a century and the first ever achieved by the private sector.
        
        NASA, with several research instruments aboard the vehicle, hailed the landing as a major achievement in its goal of sending a squad of commercially flown spacecraft on scientific scouting missions to the moon ahead of a planned return of astronauts there later this decade.
        
        But initial communications problems following Thursday's landing raised questions about whether the vehicle may have been left impaired or obstructed in some way.
        
        The uncrewed six-legged robot lander, dubbed Odysseus, touched down at about 6:23 p.m. EST (2323 GMT), the company and NASA commentators said in a joint webcast of the landing from Intuitive Machines' mission operations center in Houston.
        



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