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    News A little US company makes history by landing on the Moon


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    Enlarge / Odysseus passes over the near side of the Moon following lunar orbit insertion on February 21. (credit: Intuitive Machines)

    For the first time in more than half a century, a US-built spacecraft has made a soft landing on the Moon.

    There was high drama and plenty of intrigue on Thursday evening as Intuitive Machines attempted to land its Odysseus spacecraft in a small crater not all that far from the south pole of the Moon. About 20 minutes after touchdown, NASA declared success, but some questions remained about the health of the lander and its orientation. Why? Because while Odysseus was phoning home, its signal was weak.

    But after what the spacecraft and its developer, Houston-based Intuitive Machines, went through earlier on Thursday, it was a miracle that Odysseus made it at all.

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