On Thursday night, for the first time in over 50 years, an American spacecraft landed on the Moon – a thrilling step forward in a new era of space exploration.
The robotic lunar lander, named Odysseus, launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on February 15. On Thursday, it sent images from the Moon as it circled in low orbit, before touching down near the South Pole.
This mission marks a milestone: the first Moon landing by an American company. Odysseus is a public-private partnership between NASA and the American company Intuitive Machines. It was made possible by American ingenuity, innovation, and curiosity. And, through NASA’s Artemis program, it’s the first of more public- and private-sector space missions to come, bringing together our international and commercial partners to return humans to the Moon for the first time in decades. America is leading the world back to the Moon.
In 1962, when America’s first Moon landing was still years away, President Kennedy spoke to a group of students about why the United States sets such bold missions for ourselves. “We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things,” he said, “not because they are easy but because they are hard.” And he continued, “That challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one that we are unwilling to postpone, and one that we intend to win.”
What was true then is true now. America does hard things. We rise to the great scientific challenges of our time. And there’s nothing beyond our capacity when we work together.
I congratulate the Intuitive Machines team who successfully landed Odysseus, as well as their partners at NASA who are shaping the future of human space exploration. 

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