US spacecraft completes Moon landing mission

Connie Queline

US spacecraft completes Moon landing mission

Intuitive Machine’s target is at 80 degrees South, a mere 300km from the south pole proper.

If the mission gets down safely it will be the southernmost landing yet executed.

The Indian space agency currently holds this record, thanks to its historic Chandrayaan-3 Vikram lander, which settled on the lunar terrain in August last year at 69 degrees South.

The south pole, generally speaking, is very rough terrain with big mountain ranges and deep craters.

But that’s part of its attraction.

Some of those craters have areas that are permanently shadowed – they never see direct sunlight.

This means they could retain water-ice reserves, which might be useful to future human explorers – for drinking, for sanitation and to make rocket fuel.


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