Intuitive Machines rallies 50% on lunar landing success

February 22, 2024 7:43 PM EST Shares of aerospace firm Intuitive Machines Inc (NASDAQ: LUNR) rose sharply in after-hours trading on Thursday after the firm’s “Odysseus” lunar lander successfully touched down on the moon.

Shares of the firm jumped 50% to $12.41 by 19:27 ET (00:27 GMT). They had lost about 11% during the session on Thursday. Shares had also rallied some 75% since last week's launch of the Odysseus mission, called IM-1.

The firm’s Nova-C cargo lander, named “Odysseus” after the hero from Greek mythology, became the first U.S. spacecraft to land on the moon since 1972. Intuitive is also the first private firm to ever achieve such a feat, given that all past lunar landings were done by government firms, specifically the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Intuitive has several contracts with the government agency, with Thursday’s landing also being done in collaboration with the space agency. NASA said the landing was part of its Artemis project to land the first woman and person of color on the moon.

But despite Thursday’s surge, Intuitive’s stock still remained well below a one-year high hit earlier during the session.

The stock also remained well below record highs hit in February 2023, after a joint venture between Intuitive and engineering firm KBR Inc (NYSE: KBR) was was awarded a $719 million contract to support NASA’s Joint Polar Satellite System.

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