Skip to main content
 IM-1, the first NASA Commercial Launch Program Services launch for Intuitive Machines’ Nova-C lunar lander, will carry multiple payloads to the Moon, including Lunar Node-1, demonstrating autonomous navigation via radio beacon to support precise geolocation and navigation among lunar orbiters, landers, and surface personnel. NASA’s CLPS initiative oversees industry development of small robotic landers and rovers to support NASA’s Artemis campaign.

IM-1, the first NASA Commercial Launch Program Services launch for Intuitive Machines’ Nova-C lunar lander, will carry multiple payloads to the Moon, including Lunar Node-1, demonstrating autonomous navigation via radio beacon to support precise geolocation and navigation among lunar orbiters, landers, and surface personnel. NASA’s CLPS initiative oversees industry development of small robotic landers and rovers to support NASA’s Artemis campaign. | NASA

U.S. Company Lands Private Spacecraft on Surface of the Moon

March 1, 2024

U.S. Company Lands Private Spacecraft on Surface of the Moon

Ask students: How long has it been since a U.S. spacecraft landed on the moon? What are some challenges in attempting to land a unmanned spacecraft on the moon?

Share

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Pinterest
Share On LinkedIn
Email

It's the first U.S.-built spacecraft to land on the moon in more than 50 years, and the first ever by a private company. The Odysseus lander took off from Cape Canaveral and made it to the lunar surface a week later. The Houston-based company Intuitive Machines created the spacecraft and the trip is key to NASA's goal of returning to the moon with a manned mission.

View the transcript of the story.

Remote video URL

Discussion Questions

  • How long has it been since a U.S. spacecraft landed on the moon?
  • Where is Intuitive Machines based?
  • Why did Intuitive Machines send a spacecraft to the moon?
  • What are some challenges in attempting to land a unmanned spacecraft on the moon?
  • What are NASA's goals with this mission, according to Miles O'Brien?

Focus Questions

After watching this story, why do you think NASA has decided to support private companies to help achieve its goals rather than completely control each mission to space?

Media literacy: How could you find out more about NASA's private partners and how they are chosen?

Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Classroom.

PBS NewsHour Classroom

PBS NewsHour Classroom helps teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories.

Advertisement

Post a comment

Log in or sign up to post a comment.