U.S. Achieve First Moon Landing in 50 Years with Innovative Robot Spacecraft

In an unprecedented space venture, a spacecraft developed by the Texas-based company Intuitive Machines successfully landed near the moon’s south pole on Thursday, marking the first time a private sector entity has achieved such a feat on the lunar surface. This momentous event also represents the first U.S. lunar landing in more than half a century, heralding a new era in space exploration.

A New Era of Lunar Exploration

The spacecraft, an uncrewed six-legged robot lander named Odysseus, made its historic touchdown at approximately 6:23 p.m. EST, as confirmed by a joint webcast from Intuitive Machines and NASA commentators. 

This achievement is part of NASA’s broader strategy to engage commercial spacecraft for scientific scouting missions on the moon, laying the groundwork for the return of astronauts later this decade.

Overcoming Challenges

The landing was not without its hurdles. The final approach and descent were tense, with a late-emerging issue in the spacecraft’s autonomous navigation system. This required a last-minute, untested workaround by engineers on the ground. 

Additionally, initial communications problems post-landing raised concerns about the lander’s condition. Although communications were eventually re-established, the weak signal suggested potential obstructions near the landing site.

Celebrating Success

Despite these challenges, the mission was declared a success. “Our equipment is on the surface of the moon, and we are transmitting, so congratulations, IM team,” announced Intuitive Machines mission director Tim Crain. Further communications confirmed that Odysseus was upright and beginning to send data back to Earth.

Scientific Goals and Future Missions

Odysseus carries a suite of scientific instruments intended to operate for seven days on solar energy, focusing on space weather interactions, radio astronomy, and other lunar environmental studies. 

This mission, part of NASA’s Artemis lunar program, aims to pave the way for future manned missions to the moon and beyond, focusing on the moon’s south pole due to its presumed water ice resources.

Challenges and Risks of Commercial Space Exploration

The reliance on commercial ventures for lunar exploration introduces new risks, as demonstrated by the recent propulsion system leak in another company’s lunar lander. 

However, successes like Odysseus’s landing are crucial milestones towards achieving NASA’s goal of a sustainable human presence on the moon and eventually Mars.

A Historic Milestone

Thursday’s landing, carried out one week after Odysseus was launched atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, marks a significant achievement for Intuitive Machines, NASA, and the entire space exploration community. 

It reaffirms the United States’ leadership in space exploration, being the first controlled descent to the lunar surface by a U.S. spacecraft since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. It sets a precedent for private sector involvement in space missions.

As we celebrate this triumph, the focus now shifts to the scientific discoveries Odysseus will enable and the future missions it will pave the way for, marking the dawn of a new chapter in lunar exploration.

Source: Reuters

Is Intuitive Machines Stock Halal? A Simple Overview

When it comes to investing, those following Islamic finance principles need to ensure their investments are Halal, or permissible under Islamic law. Let’s take a closer look at Intuitive Machines, Inc., a company involved in space exploration, to see if its stock meets the criteria for Halal investing.

Understanding the Criteria for Halal Investing

For an investment to be considered Halal, it needs to pass certain checks:

  • Business Activity: The company’s core business activity should be Shariah-compliant, and income from non-Halal sources should be less than 5% of its total income.
  • Interest-bearing Securities and Assets: The company’s interest-bearing investments should be less than 30% of its total market value.
  • Interest-bearing Debt: The company’s debt from loans with interest should also be below 30% of its total market value.

How Does Intuitive Machines Stack Up?

Business Activities

  • Non-Halal Income: Intuitive Machines has 45.74% of its income coming from sources that might not be considered Halal. This is way over the 5% limit.

Financial Health

  • Interest-Bearing Securities and Assets: At 2.22%, this is within the acceptable range, indicating a good sign.
  • Interest-Bearing Debt: With only 3.94% of its market value in interest-bearing debt, Intuitive Machines is well below the 30% threshold, which is another positive indicator.

Above figures are according to the Shariah screening of 2023 annual financial statement.

The Verdict: Not Halal

Despite Intuitive Machines, Inc. managing its finances in a way that limits interest-bearing securities and debts, the significant portion of its income from non-Halal sources makes the stock unsuitable for Halal investing.

For those following Islamic finance principles, this means looking elsewhere for investment opportunities that better align with Halal criteria.

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