Intuitive Machines' Odysseus lands on the moon

An unmanned craft sent by Intuitive Machines, named Odysseus, landed on the moon yesterday. It's the first U.S. lander to go to the moon in half a century.

The US returned to the moon for the first time in more than half a century, when the privately-built spacecraft called Odysseus touched down today.

Confirmation of the landing came about 10 minutes after touchdown, as flight controllers scrambled to pick up communications. "I know this was a nail-biter but we are on the surface and we are transmitting," said Stephen Altemus, president and CEO of Intuitive Machines, the Texas-based company that designed and operated the lander. "Welcome to the moon."

Bill Nelson, Nasa's administrator, described it as a triumph:

"Odysseus has taken the moon. This feat is a giant leap forward for all of humanity. …Today for the first time in more than a half century, the US has returned to the moon. Today for the first time in the history of humanity, a commercial company, an American company launched and led the voyage up there. And today is a day that shows the power and promise of NASA's Commercial partnerships. Congratulations to everyone involved in this great and daring quest at Intuitive Machines, SpaceX and right here at Nasa.

Previously: New lunar landers, spacesuits, electric airplanes, space medicine and other reasons NASA is stoked for 2023