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Mesmerizing footage shows SpaceX release a lunar lander into space

A history-making moment.
  • SpaceX Falcon 9 took off from Florida carrying a lunar lander
  • The lunar lander is expected to reach the Moon on February 2022
  • It’ll be the first private spacecraft to reach the moon

Published on Feb 20, 2024 at 6:53PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Feb 23, 2024 at 1:19PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Kate Bain

NASA wants to take us back to the Moon and thanks to Elon Musk’s SpaceX, they’re making fast progress.

Just a few days ago, a lunar lander left Earth, on its way to the Moon aboard one of SpaceX’s rockets.

READ MORE: Webb telescope makes unexpected discovery while searching outskirts of solar system

Dubbed Odysseus, the lander built by Houston-based Intuitive Machines launched at 1:05 AM ET on February 15 from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

A few hours later, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket separated from the lander, which will keep on traveling on its own until it reaches the south pole of the Moon.

If everything goes to plan, it’ll land on February 22.

SpaceX captured the moment in a clip, which was then uploaded to X.

This is sort of a big deal for a number of reasons.

First, only five nations have reached the Moon without wrecking the spacecraft they used to get there.

Those are, not in this order, the USSR / Russia, China, the US, India, and Japan.

However, when it lands, Odysseus will become only the second spacecraft to reach the south pole (after India) and, more importantly, the first one to do so using spacecraft built by a private company.

“We are keenly aware of the immense challenges that lie ahead,” said Intuitive Machines CEO Steve Altemus in a statement.

“However, it is precisely in facing these challenges head-on that we recognize the magnitude of the opportunity before us: to softly return the United States to the surface of the Moon for the first time in 52 years.”

The whole point of the mission is to collect data, which will then be used by NASA to finally send the first manned mission to the Moon in over 50 years.

After that, the next step will be to create a base on the Moon.

Next, we’ll be on our way to Mars, or at least that’s Elon Musk is gunning for.

As ever, Musk has been overly optimistic with his prediction and believes we could reach Mars by 2029.

Even though this specific target is unlikely to be met, the fact of the matter is, it seems, we’re turning what used to be a matter of ‘IF’, into a matter of ‘WHEN’.

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