US Moon Lander Falls on Side Near Moon's South Pole
In this image from video provided by NASA, Steve Altemus, CEO and co-founder of Intuitive Machines, describes how it is believed the company's Odysseus spacecraft landed on the surface of the moon, during a news conference in Houston on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024. (NASA via AP)

US Moon Lander Falls on Side Near Moon's South Pole

February 23rd, 2024

A space company in the United States made a moon lander. It landed on the moon but fell on its side. This makes talking to it harder. The lander is near the moon's south pole. It is the first time a U.S. lander has been on the moon in over 50 years. The company's lander carried experiments for NASA. They paid the company to bring their experiments to the moon. The lander will work on the moon for one week. Before this, another company tried to reach the moon, but their lander did not make it. NASA wants to send people to the moon again soon.
AI isn't perfect, so some things may be inaccurate. We don't necessarily endorse the views or information you see here and provide it for language learning purposes only.

💭 Discussion Questions

. What did the space company make?
. Where did the moon lander fall?
. Who paid the company to bring experiments to the moon?

📖 Vocabulary

🌐 Cultural context

The United States has a history of space exploration. NASA is the U.S. government agency responsible for the nation's space program. Private companies also build space technology. The moon is a key focus for missions.

🧠 Further reading

Exploration of the Moon
A long time ago, people only looked at the Moon from Earth. Galileo first used a telescope to see the Moon's mountains and holes in 1609. People went to the Moon with a spaceship called Apollo 11 in 1969. Two men, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, walked on the Moon and brought back Moon rocks. In 2019, China's spacecraft, Chang'e 4, landed on the far side of the Moon. They sent a rover to explore. In 2023, India's lander, Vikram, landed near the South Pole of the Moon and sent another rover. Long before flying to the Moon, a Greek man named Anaxagoras thought the Moon and Sun were big rocks and the Moon shone with the Sun's light. Plutarch wrote a book and thought the Moon had shadows that made spots. He wondered if people lived on the Moon. Another Greek, Aristarchus, tried to measure how big the Moon was and how far away from Earth. He thought the Moon was 20 times farther than it is.

Peregrine Mission One
A robot called Peregrine did not finish its trip to the Moon. The robot was made in America. It flew on a new rocket on January 8, 2024. The robot's job was to land on the Moon, but it could not because it had a problem. It went around the Moon for six days. Then it fell into the sea on January 18. This was going to be the first time a U.S. robot landed on the Moon since 1972. The Peregrine robot had many science things and other special cargo weighing 90 kg. Some things came from schools and companies. One small car from a school was 41 inches tall! Another small car could move on four legs. There was even a tiny library and human ashes sent with the robot. The people who made Peregrine first planned to fly it in 2021. NASA wanted to send science things to the Moon and chose Peregrine to help in 2019. But the trip did not go as planned.

Sierra Space
Sierra Space is a company that makes special machines for going to space. They work in Colorado and some other places in the United States. They are building a spaceplane called the Dream Chaser. NASA picked this spaceplane to carry things to the International Space Station. Sierra Space is also working with another company, Blue Origin, to make parts for a new space station called the Orbital Reef. Sierra Space started in April 2021. It came from a bigger company called Sierra Nevada Corporation, which began in 1963. Sierra Space and Blue Origin want to create a new space station that people can use for work, research, and fun in space. They got a lot of money to make this space station, which they hope will be ready by 2027. Sierra Space will also start training astronauts in 2023. In April 2023, Sierra Space said they are working with another company, ILC Dover. They will make inflatable rooms for space stations and suits for astronauts. Sierra Space is also working with the United States Air Force.