Watch Live as the Odysseus Lander Launches to the Moon

Watch Live as the Odysseus Lander Launches to the Moon

A new mission is headed towards the Moon, with hopes of touching down on the lunar surface for a chance at a historic landing. But given the recent string of failures, we’re understandably nervous.

On Wednesday, Intuitive Machine is set to launch its Nova-C lander on board a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The liftoff is scheduled for 12:57 a.m. ET (today at 4.57 pm AEDT) from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Houston-based company is hoping to be the first to put a privately-owned lander on the lunar surface after a series of failed attempts by others.

If it succeeds, this will certainly be a mission for the books as it will mark the beginning of a new era for the lunar economy. You can watch the long-anticipated launch live on NASA Television or the space agency’s website. Coverage of the launch is set to begin at 12:15 a.m. ET. SpaceX is also hosting its own livestream of the launch on the company’s account on X. You can also tune in through the feed below.


NASA Live: Official Stream of NASA TV

The Nova-C lander, named Odysseus, is packed with 12 government-owned and commercial payloads. Six of those payloads are science and technology instruments for NASA, including a radio astronomy tool, precision landing technologies, and a communication and navigation node for upcoming autonomous navigation tests.

The lander is also carrying a camera system designed by students at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University that will attempt to separate itself from the lander before touchdown to capture the moment of descent. Also on board is a 1.3-pound dual-camera system called ILO-X which will attempt to capture wide and narrow field images of the Milky Way from the Moon. Other payloads include small discs containing messages from Earth, as well as artwork by Jeff Koons depicting the different phases of the Moon.

The NOVA-C lunar lander, named Odysseus, is ready for liftoff.

The lander is part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative, whereby the space agency partners with companies to launch payloads to the Moon on a regular basis with the larger aim of creating a sustainable presence on and around Earth’s natural satellite.

Landing on the Moon is hella tricky though. Earlier in January, another company, Astrobotic, failed in its attempt to touch down on the lunar surface. In April 2023, Japan’s ispace Hakuto-R M1 crashed on the lunar surface and Israel’s SpaceIL Beresheet lander met a similar fate in April 2019.

Odysseus is expected to touchdown on the lunar surface on February 22, and we really hope this little guy makes it.

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