The Odysseus lunar lander is on its side and will likely run out of energy soon

The Odysseus lander will likely continue to operate for another 24 hours on the Moon’s surface, despite being flipped on its side. Intuitive Machines, the private space company behind Odysseus, tweeted some images taken by the spacecraft and provided further updates on how long the team expects it to remain operational.

Due to Odysseus’s landing position, the panels and antennas are not oriented exactly as intended, making it difficult for him to generate power and communicate. Controllers on Earth will continue collecting data until their solar panels are no longer exposed to sunlight, which they anticipate will happen Tuesday morning.

The landing almost didn’t happen. During a news conference Friday, executives explained that the safety switches for the lander’s two rangefinder lasers were activated, meaning they could not be used to guide the craft during its landing. The New York Times reports.

Fortunately, on board the spacecraft was an experimental NASA lidar system. Engineers working for Intuitive Machines scrambled at the last minute and designed a software patch to recover the required altitude and speed data of the NASA system to ensure the safe landing of the spacecraft.

Intuitive Machines CEO Steve Altemus also confirmed during the briefing that the only upload on the down side is a piece of art submitted by a commercial client, referring to the miniature 125-moon sculpture designed by the artist. Jeff Koons. Problems with Odysseus’ navigation system also derailed the deployment of EagleCam, a camera that was to be ejected during the lander’s descent. Intuitive machines can continue rolling out the camera at a later datethe Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University team that developed the camera told CNBC.

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