Houston Airports celebrates successful lunar landing of the Intuitive Machines Nova-C

Giant leaps start in Houston, Space City. More than 50 years after Houston secured its place in helping humanity reach the moon, Houston once again wrote the next chapter of aerospace history. 

February 22, 2024

On February 22, 2024, the Intuitive Machines Nova-C Lunar Lander called Odysseus or Odie, achieved a historic milestone by successfully landing on the moon's south pole. Houston Airports and the Houston Spaceport secured its place in history as well. Odie was built, tested, and optimized at the heart of Houston spaceport, highlighting its crucial role in lunar exploration.

"On this momentous occasion, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge and express my gratitude to all of you for being a part of this historic moment," said Jim Szczesniak, Interim Director of Aviation for Houston Airports. "The Intuitive Machines IM-1 mission is the first successful U.S. moon landing since Apollo 17 in 1972. This lunar lander was conceived at the Houston Spaceport and proudly pioneered by our first anchor tenant, Intuitive Machines."

In the last decade, the Houston Airports team developed what was essentially an empty parcel of land at Ellington Airport into the world’s fastest-growing spaceport and a hub for innovation, with the top names in commercial space development, like Intuitive Machines, Collins Aerospace, and Axiom Space. The innovative spirit of Space City has been instrumental in the success of the Houston Spaceport and its anchor tenants, and the city's commitment to excellence has once again helped to thrust Houston to the forefront of space exploration.

"It fills me with immense pride to work alongside a team of individuals who embody our R.I.S.E. core values - Relationships, Innovation, Service and Excellence - in every aspect of their work," said Szczesniak in a letter to 1,200 Houston Airports employees. "Celebrate this achievement and know that your contributions are a part of our nation’s history. Together, we have created a legacy that extends far beyond the boundaries of Earth."