WASHINGTON, Feb 23 (KUNA) -- The US Space Agency (NASA) confirmed Friday that the spacecraft "Odysseus" touched down near the moon's South Pole is the first lunar landing by a U.S. entity since Apollo 17 in 1972.
The spacecraft landed at exactly 6:23 p.m. (Washington DC time), NASA said, adding that the this mission "will make us prepare for human exploration of the moon in the future, within the framework of the agency's Artemis program for space conquest".
The spacecraft, owned by private company and financed by NASA, is carrying a suite of scientific instruments and technology demonstrations for NASA and several commercial customers designed to operate for seven days on solar energy before the sun sets over the polar landing site.
Odysseus was sent on its way to the moon last Thursday atop a Falcon 9 rocket launched by Elon Musk's company SpaceX from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.(end) asj.nhq