The American probe Odysseus sends its first images from the

The American probe Odysseus sends its first images from the south of the moon

The U.S. company Intuitive Machines' Odysseus probe has sent its first images from the southernmost location on the Moon, where no spacecraft has ever landed. The private company ©e shared two photos on the social network X on Monday.

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• Also read: The American lunar probe Odysseus probably landed on its side

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The spacecraft, more than four meters high, landed on the moon at 11:23 p.m. GMT on Thursday, a first for the United States in more than 50 years. This is also a first for a private company.

But twists and turns, particularly a navigation system failure, made the final descent difficult and the probe ended up on its side instead of landing vertically.


“Odysseus continues to communicate with Nova Control flight controllers from the lunar surface,” Intuitive Machines said Monday, publishing on

In particular, the device carries scientific instruments from NASA, which wants to explore the south pole of the moon as part of its Artemis missions before sending its astronauts there. The American space agency has decided to order this service from private companies.


This strategy should allow him to make the trip more often and for less money. But also to stimulate the development of a lunar economy that can support a sustainable human presence on the Moon, one of the goals of the Artemis program.

It was a “success with small downsides,” commented astronomer and space mission expert Jonathan McDowell to AFP, saying that while “there is certainly something to be said about being ready for the next missions,” the NASA project is heading in the right direction goes.

Japan's SLIM probe, which has been stationed on the moon since the end of January, has been activated again, Jaxa, the country's space agency, announced on Monday. Additionally, it was positioned at an angle and its west-facing photovoltaic cells received no sunlight.

For Jonathan McDowell, these two falls could be an indication that the upper parts of current probes are too heavy and therefore current generation machines are more prone to tipping over in low gravity conditions.