Pond Technologies

Intuitive Machines ($LUNR) Becomes First Company to Land Private Spacecraft on the Moon

23 February 2024

A robotic lander developed by Houston-based space company Intuitive Machines (NASDAQ: LUNR) has achieved the first successful U.S. spacecraft landing on the moon’s surface in more than a half century.

The lander, named Odysseus, lifted off aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 mission more than a week ago from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The lander entered the moon’s low lunar orbit Wednesday and touched down near the southern polar region of the moon late Thursday evening. 

The Odysseus mission represents the first privately developed spacecraft to touch down on the moon’s surface. NASA provided Intuitive with more than $100 million in funding to build and fly the lander as part of larger efforts to commercialize lunar payload deliveries.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson stated: “Today, for the first time in more than a half century, the U.S. has returned to the moon. Today, for the first time in the history of humanity, a commercial company and an American company launched and led the voyage up there.”

Steve Altemus, Intuitive CEO added: “I know this was a nail biter, but we are on the surface and we are transmitting. Welcome to the moon.”

Shares of Intuitive Machines surged more than 30% following reports of the successful landing. The company trades on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol LUNR. 

 

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