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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.–Intuitive Machines’ Odysseus is trying to land on the moon later today. If it is successful, that would be the first U.S. moon landing in more than 50 years.

“Odysseus is going to teach us a lot about the moon, about technologies for landing on the moon, and then for surviving on a lunar environment especially as we look to build a more permanent base on the moon through the Artemis program that NASA is leading,” said Ali Bramson, assistant professor at Purdue University’s College of Science.

Bramson calls this an “important next step.”

“Odysseus is going to land about 190 miles from the south pole of the moon. This is an important location because it’s one that the Artemis program and NASA are targeting as a site to potentially send humans to the moon,” said Bramson.

It is supposed to land in the middle of lunar day.

“So it will be sunny and warm when it lands on the surface, but then after about a week it will become lunar night. It will get cold and the electronics are not supposed to survive how cold it will get. Also, it will go into night time and it (Odysseus) won’t be able to power its solar panels anymore,” said Bramson.

Bramson says the mission is expected to last about a week. Bramson says there is still a lot to learn about the moon.

“Everything from how it formed to the technologies needed to have people survive on the surface of the moon. There’s still so much we can learn,” said Bramson.