Moon Lander Beams Back Dazzling Selfies With Earth

Moon Unit

Intuitive Machines' Odysseus lunar lander, which launched aboard a SpaceX rocket this week and is now en-route to the Earth's natural satellite, just sent back some stunning selfies with the Earth in the background as it crosses the gulf.

"Intuitive Machines successfully transmitted its first IM-1 mission images to Earth on February 16, 2024," Intuitive Machines wrote on X-formerly-Twitter alongside the photos. "The images were captured shortly after separation from SpaceX's second stage on Intuitive Machines’ first journey to the Moon under NASA's CLPS initiative."

Say Cheese

The photos are magnificent. Here they are, in all their glory:

If it successfully touches down on the Moon — a major "if," given the many failures at lunar landings we've seen over the past few years — Odysseus will be the first-ever successful private Moon landing.

It'd also be a huge coup for NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services, the agency's attempt to contract private companies to send increasingly ambitious payloads to the Moon. Unfortunately, the program got off to an inauspicious start when its first mission — Astrobotic Technology's Peregrine Mission One — failed shortly after launch last month and later burned up in Earth's atmosphere.

More on the Moon: Experts Warn Against Strip Mining the Moon