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The first commercial spacecraft to reach the moon is on its side but still functioning


Perfect landings are hard to stick. Ask any pilot, gymnast or Odysseus, the first commercial spacecraft to reach the moon. Odysseus, affectionately known as Odie, marks America's return to the moon since Apollo 17 in 1972. Seems like Odie got a little tipsy, though, since the spacecraft is now on its side. Steve Altemus, the CEO and co-founder of Intuitive Machines, which built Odysseus, is still pumped - or, you could say, over the moon.

STEVE ALTEMUS: It's pretty incredible. It was quite a spicy seven-day mission to get to the moon.

RASCOE: Intuitive Machines says Odie is stable and sending more signals back to Earth for research on the moon's south pole. Though Odie's landing might not get 10s across the board, it still did pretty well. Last month, a different spacecraft landed upside down. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Ayesha Rascoe is a White House correspondent for NPR. She is currently covering her third presidential administration. Rascoe's White House coverage has included a number of high profile foreign trips, including President Trump's 2019 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, Vietnam, and President Obama's final NATO summit in Warsaw, Poland in 2016. As a part of the White House team, she's also a regular on the NPR Politics Podcast.