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Odysseus Has Landed: U.S. Makes First Moon Landing in More Than 50 Years—and OWC Was Along For the Ride!

Odysseus passes over the near side of the Moon following lunar orbit insertion on Feb. 21, 2024. Credit: Intuitive Machines via X

Today at 6:23 p.m. EST, the Odysseus moon lander touched lunar soil, marking the first time a U.S. spacecraft has landed on the moon in more than 50 years.

A little more than 7 days after successfully launching from Cape Canaveral, the Intuitive Machines IM-1 mission to the moon successfully delivered its stock of payloads to the moon’s South Pole. You can see video of the landing in the tweet below. It is the first lunar landing since NASA’s Apollo program ended with the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.

Intuitive Machines is a space exploration, infrastructure and services company. The IM-1 mission represents the company’s first attempted lunar landing as part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative.

The overall CLPS initiative will play a key role in NASA’s Artemis program and humanity’s return to the moon. With plans to have human boots on lunar soil as early as next year, the payloads sent as part of IM-1 will deliver important artifacts and scientific tools that will “lay the foundation for human missions and a sustainable human presence on the lunar surface,” according to Intuitive Machines.

Beyond our country’s historic return to the moon, this lunar landing is of particularly special significance to those of us here at OWC. Among the payloads onboard Odysseus is a special data storage disk made with help from the folks here at OWC.

Made with support from OWC, the storage disk aboard Odysseus is a small 15-layer nickel stack microfiche time capsule made by space archival storage company NanoFiche in coordination with Galactic Legacy Labs subsidiary Lunaprise. 

The Lunagram microfiche. Image credit: Bruce Ha via LinkedIn

The disk contains much of humanity’s knowledge, songs, and messages from more than 1 million people called “Lunagrams.” It is designed to survive for millions of years on the lunar surface, preserving a record of human life on Earth. You can read more about the IM-1 mission here.

OWC Wayne G
the authorOWC Wayne G
Tech lover, multimedia creator, and marketing manager for OWC's Rocket Yard and Mission Control blogs.
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