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Odysseus moon landing updates: Nova-C makes first successful commercial lunar landing

The Odysseus moon landing has been a success!

Despite technical issues nearly causing a delay, Odysseus reached the surface of the moon at approximately 6:23 p.m. ET.

"We can confirm without a doubt the equipment is on the moon," Dr. Tim Crane said on the NASA broadcast. "Odysseus has a new home."

High-resolution photos of the moon landing are expected to be released at a later time, according to the agency.

Intuitive Machines' lander, named Odysseus, launched last week from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida and entered lunar orbit on Wednesday. This is the first commercial landing in U.S. history.

This landing marked the first by a U.S.-built spacecraft in more than 50 years.

MORE: India becomes fourth country to land a spacecraft on the moon

The lander is carrying five NASA instruments, including a radio beacon meant to transmit precise geolocation and cameras that capture how the surface of the moon changes from interactions with the engine plume of the spacecraft, as well as commercial cargo.

Odysseus -- nicknamed "Odie" by employees -- will have seven days before darkness descends on the landing site, which will prevent the spacecraft's solar panels from gathering energy from sunlight and bringing freezing temperatures.

PHOTO:  A graphic from Intuitive Machines shows the approximate schedule for landing of the Odysseus lunar lander. (Intuitive Machines)
PHOTO: A graphic from Intuitive Machines shows the approximate schedule for landing of the Odysseus lunar lander. (Intuitive Machines)

Intuitive Machines was one of several companies approved by NASA under Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) contracts to build private lunar landers that the federal space agency, among others, would use to send instruments into space.

Steve Altemus, president and CEO of Intuitive Machines, said the company's employees' names are engraved into the footer to permanently stamp their names on the lunar surface.

"I had everyone's name etched on the bottom of the landing gear so that their names will be indelibly printed on the moon when we touch down softly," he told ABC News.

This is the third attempt to land on the moon this year. In early January, the Peregrine lunar lander, built by Astrobotic, developed a critical fuel leak, forcing it to return to Earth and burn upon re-entry.

MORE: Artemis I Orion capsule splashes down after NASA mission near moon

Meanwhile, Japan launched a rocket to the moon in September 2023 and landed on Jan. 19, becoming the fifth country to do so. However, the lunar lander landed upside down and could not deploy its solar arrays.

"There's reduced gravity There's very little atmosphere, lot of dust, and so the engineers have to speculate how a spacecraft would behave in that type of environment, right? And it doesn't exist here on Earth," Regina Blue, NASA's CLPS deputy program manager, told ABC News, explaining why it's so difficult to land on the moon.

"So they have to spend lots of hours testing and testing and doing more testing and even that, getting into that environment there is a good amount of unpredictability, so that makes it very, very hard," she continued.

PHOTO: In this photo courtesy of Intuitive Machines, Odysseus passes over the near side of the Moon following lunar orbit during the IM-1 mission, Feb. 21, 2024.  (Intuitive Machines/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: In this photo courtesy of Intuitive Machines, Odysseus passes over the near side of the Moon following lunar orbit during the IM-1 mission, Feb. 21, 2024. (Intuitive Machines/AFP via Getty Images)

These robotic missions are important to explore the moon as NASA and the Canadian Space Agency prepare to send four astronauts to fly around the moon in the upcoming

MORE: Artemis II astronauts, including 1st woman and 1st person of color to be on moon mission, share excitement about upcoming trip

" target="_blank">Artemis II mission next year. If the mission is successful, Artemis III -- a moon landing -- is scheduled for 2026.

The Artemis team will be made up of three Americans -- Victor Glover, Christina Hammock Koch, and Reid Wiseman -- and one Canadian, Jeremy Hansen.

Odysseus moon landing updates: Nova-C makes first successful commercial lunar landing originally appeared on abcnews.go.com