Intuitive machines' shares soar 33% following historic moon landing achievement

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Business Desk
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Intuitive Machines Odysseus spacecraft passes over the near side of the Moon following lunar orbit insertion on February 21, 2024, in this handout image released February 22, 2024. —Reuters
Intuitive Machines' Odysseus spacecraft passes over the near side of the Moon following lunar orbit insertion on February 21, 2024, in this handout image released February 22, 2024. —Reuters 

Intuitive Machines witnessed a remarkable 33% surge in its shares as the company achieved the groundbreaking feat of becoming the first private entity to successfully land a spacecraft on the moon. 

This historic accomplishment positions the space exploration firm on a trajectory to surpass a market value of $1 billion.

In the wake of the lunar landing, the company's lunar lander, named "Odysseus," touched down at the Malapert A crater, marking the first controlled descent to the lunar surface by a US spacecraft since NASA's Apollo 17 mission in 1972. The achievement has garnered widespread attention and appreciation, potentially boosting credibility for the entire space industry.

The stock experienced significant trading activity, with over 56 million shares changing hands within two hours of the opening bell. Analysts foresee positive ripple effects for other space companies, with firms like Rocket Lab, Astra Space, Satellogic, and RedWire seeing gains ranging from 2.1% to 4.8%.

In a post on X, Elon Musk congratulated Intuitive Machines, acknowledging the successful moon landing. The company's executives and NASA officials are scheduled to hold a news conference to discuss the landing and outline upcoming science objectives.

The achievement positions Intuitive Machines as a key player in space technology, potentially attracting investments and government contracts. Analysts, including Canaccord Genuity's Austin Moeller, express confidence in the company's prospects, doubling the price target to $14.

Intuitive Machines, co-founded in 2013, spent approximately $100 million developing the Odysseus lander, backed by $118 million in NASA funds under the Commercial Lunar Payload Services program.

The successful lunar landing not only demonstrates technical prowess but also opens avenues for future lunar exploration missions, potentially revitalising the space industry during a period of funding challenges. 

The company is now eagerly anticipating the release of the first images from the lunar surface, while industry experts commend the achievement as a significant milestone for space exploration.