Moon Lander "Tipped Over" On Touchdown, Sending Shares Of Intuitive Machines Crashing Late Friday

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by Tyler Durden
Saturday, Feb 24, 2024 - 05:15 PM

Intuitive Machines Inc. investors have experienced more volatility than crypto traders since its Odysseus moon lander was catapulted into space by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Feb. 15. Shares soared as the Odysseus spacecraft successfully entered the moon's orbit and landed. However, in the after-hours trading on Friday, shares crashed on reports the spacecraft had toppled over upon landing in the moon's south pole region. 

Intuitive Machines initially said its Odysseus moon lander landed successfully on Thursday. But as AP News reports, CEO Steve Altemus said Friday that the spacecraft "caught a foot in the surface," falling on its side and possibly leaning against a rock. He said a high landing speed might have snapped one of Odysseus's support legs. 

"So far, we have quite a bit of operational capability even though we're tipped over," Altemus told reporters.

He said engineers are in the process of downloading data and hope to understand the severity of the issue as early as this weekend:

"We're downloading and commanding data from the buffers in the spacecraft and trying to get you surface photos because I know that everyone's hungry for those." 

What a rollercoaster ride for investors. Shares crashed as much as 31% on landing woes report. 

Odysseus is the first US lunar lander in half a century. It remains to be seen if the lander can conduct its mission. 

As we've penned before, another bubble could be forming: "Forget AI Bubble. A New One Emerges As Space Firms Prepare For IPO Launchpad."