Intuitive Machines’ Moon Lander Disaster Avoided through Sharp Reflexes and a Stroke of Good Fortune
Using a small model of the lander, Altemus demonstrated how engineers believe the spacecraft, called Odysseus, made its descent given the most recent telemetry data. “The vehicle is stable near or at our intended landing site,” Altemus said. Part of the reason for that is because the onboard camera, an instrument called EagleCam, was powered down during landing. The company originally thought Odysseus was actually upright, but Altemus said that was based on “stale” telemetry data. Much of the mission’s success came down to very quick thinking by Intuitive Machines’ mission controllers — and just a stroke of very good luck.