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SpaceX successfully launches Odysseus in bid to return US to the lunar surface

Following its successful deployment, the Nova-C spacecraft now faces a two-week journey to reach the Moon’s south pole. | Photo by GREGG NEWTON/AFP via Getty Images

A robotic lunar lander built by private aerospace company Intuitive Machines was successfully launched by SpaceX on Thursday, with hopes of being the first American spacecraft to successfully touch down on the Moon’s surface since the 1972 Apollo 17 mission. The Nova-C lander named “Odysseus” was carried into orbit by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, which launched from Cape Canaveral at 1:05AM ET on February 15th.

The launch was originally scheduled to take place on Wednesday but was delayed due to concerns regarding the temperature of the rocket’s methane fuel. Shortly after liftoff, SpaceX confirmed that the IM-1 mission’s Odysseus lander had been successfully deployed and that the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket that delivered it into…

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