Why do we see an increased number of lunar missions targeting the moon’s south pole? | DW News

From DW News.

The Odysseus mission marks the first controlled descent to the moon’s surface by a US spaceship since Apollo 17 in 1972. The company behind the mission said flight controllers received a weak signal from the moon lander.

The six-legged robotic lander, dubbed Odysseus, targeted the Malapert A crater near the moon’s south pole.

Odysseus carries a suite of scientific instruments and technology demonstrations for NASA and several commercial customers and is designed to operate on solar power for seven days before the sun sets over the polar landing site.

The NASA payload will focus on collecting data on space weather interactions with the lunar surface, radio astronomy and other aspects of the lunar environment for future landers and NASA’s planned return of astronauts later this decade.

Odyssey to the moon
Odysseus launched on February 15 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The spacecraft boasts a new type of supercooled liquid oxygen, liquid methane propulsion system that allows it to race through space in quick time.

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