As it approached the end of its fifth day on the moon, Odysseus—the first US spacecraft to land there since 1972—was still functional, but flight controllers warned that its charge was running low. Soon, the ship would likely go black.
 
Tuesday's web update from Texas-based Intuitive Machines stated that the lander "efficiently sent payload science data and imagery in furtherance of the company's mission objectives" while being in communication with its Houston control centre.
 
After a navigational error that lasted for eleven hours and a tense descent, which left Odysseus landing in an unfavourable position that hindered his communications and solar charge, the spacecraft finally made it to the lunar surface on february 22.
 

The next day, Intuitive Machines claimed that the navigational problem was due to human mistake. The vehicle's laser-guided range finders could not be activated after launch because flight readiness teams had forgotten to manually release a safety switch. This left flight engineers scrambling to quickly devise a backup plan while in lunar orbit.
 
On february 24, an Intuitive official told Reuters that the safety switch malfunction was caused by the company's choice to save money and time by not testing the laser system during pre-launch inspections.
 

It remained unclear, according to Intuitive officials, if the range finders' failure and the last-minute insertion of a workaround ultimately contributed to Odysseus' unbalanced landing.
 
However, the business said last friday that the spacecraft's capacity to refuel was limited as two of its communication antennae were damaged and pointing in the incorrect direction. It also had solar panels facing the wrong way.
 
Consequently, Intuitive said on monday that it anticipated losing touch with Odysseus on tuesday morning, ending the mission that was supposed to last seven to ten days on the moon and carry twelve science equipment for nasa and a number of commercial clients.
 

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