Odysseus lander tipped over on moon's surface, now on it's side

The Odysseus lander, just a day after it made a historic landing on the moon, tipped over and is now on its side, officials revealed. The lander, which made history as the first private spacecraft to land on the moon in over 50 years, ended up on its side near the moon’s south pole. The...

Odysseus lander tipped over on moon's surface, now on it's side

The Odysseus lander, just a day after it made a historic landing on the moon, tipped over and is now on its side, officials revealed.

The lander, which made history as the first private spacecraft to land on the moon in over 50 years, ended up on its side near the moon’s south pole. The craft “caught a foot in the surface” and might have broken one of its six legs, according to the Associated Press (AP). 

“So far, we have quite a bit of operational capability even though we’re tipped over,” CEO Steve Altemus said Friday. 

Altemus explained that some antennas on the lander were pointed toward the moon's surface, therefore restricting data flow. NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will try to determine its location. 

Still, according to an update on the company website, the lander is "alive and well." 

A successful landing by Intuitive Machines, a Houston-based company, was not a guarantee, as the craft experienced issues and had delays. 

"Odysseus is alive and well," the company wrote. "Flight controllers are communicating and commanding the vehicle to download science data."

The craft landed on Thursday a few miles away from its preferred site, Malapert A crater, per the company.

The spacecraft is carrying NASA scientific instruments and experiments, and the administration partially sponsored the mission. 

Odysseus was launched last week from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This was the first lunar touchdown for the U.S. since Apollo 17 landed in 1972.

Only five countries have successfully landed crafts on the moon. Japan became the fifth last month, joining Russia, India, China and the U.S.