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Two landers have crashed there over the last year.  On Thursday, the USA will try to return to the Moon after 50 years

Two landers have crashed there over the last year. On Thursday, the USA will try to return to the Moon after 50 years

On Thursday night, Polish time, Americans will try to return to the surface of the Moon after half a century. The last US mission to an Earth satellite was the legendary Apollo program and its 17th installment in 1972. NASA and the private companies cooperating with it face a difficult task. Over the past year, two other countries’ landers have crashed while attempting to land on the Moon.

The private Nova-C lander, baptized as Odysseus, entered the orbit of the Moon on Wednesday, where it is scheduled to land on Thursday at 11:49 p.m. Polish time. This is the first landing of an American space vehicle on our natural satellite in over 50 years, and the first in history to use a private spacecraft – Falcon 9 from SpaceX (it is worth recalling here that ).

Moon landing. Americans want to return there after a break of over 50 years

The Odysseus lander belongs to the American company Intuitive Machines. It was launched into space on February 15 as part of the IM-1 mission. The launch took place at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and communication with the lander is conducted through the space center in Houston.

If the landing fails, it will be the third failure of lunar missions in the last year – the Russians wanted to return to the Moon after 47 years in August 2023, but Luna 25 crashed during landing. A few months earlier, in April, the same fate befell Hakuto-R, the Japanese lander. Even though we have been flying to our natural satellite for almost 60 years, more than half of the landings ended in failure. The first Russians landed there in February 1966 on the Luna 9 lander. The Americans and their Surveyor 1 needed four more months. Since then, only three other countries have achieved this feat, and only in the 21st century. These are China, India and Japan, the latter of which only achieved this in January 2024. India was only a few months ahead of them, with its Chandrayaan-3 lander landing on the Moon in August 2023.

The last time the Americans placed a lander on the Moon was in 1972 as part of the Apollo 17 mission, the last of the legendary program. To this day, it is the only country that has sent people to the Moon. , 12 of which landed on the surface of our natural satellite.

The mission is part of the project of the American space agency NASA called Artemis. Its goal is new research into the solar system. “They are intended to help us understand the processes taking place in space and on planets, as well as to help us search for water in the Universe,” NASA wrote in a press release.

Source: Gazeta

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