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First US moon landing in 50 years set to take place Thursday evening: Watch live

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The autonomous lander Odysseus is expected to touch down on the lunar surface Thursday evening, inaugurating a new era in U.S. exploration of the moon.

Odysseus, created by the company Intuitive Machines, launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket early Feb. 15.

The lander is carrying scientific instruments in the first installment of the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative, a series of private contracts to deliver materials to the moon.

NASA intends these missions to serve as the groundwork for the Artemis program, which will include an ongoing human presence on the moon and the eventual journey of astronauts to Mars.

The landing is expected at 6:24 p.m. EST.

Watch the live video above.

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