April 14, 2024

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The stock of intuitive machines declined after the lunar lander capsized

The stock of intuitive machines declined after the lunar lander capsized

(Reuters) – Shares of Houston-based Intuitive Machines fell more than 30% on Monday after the space exploration company said the Odysseus moon lander had flipped over and was resting on its side.

The company, which became the first private company to land on the moon and the first from the United States since 1972, said all but one of its six science and technology payloads were facing up and receiving communications.

The company said that the cargo on its side contained a piece of art consisting of miniature stainless steel sculptures by artist Jeff Koons.

The rest of the payloads are expected to carry out their scientific goals.

Intuitive stock fell 34% to $6.30 before Monday's opening bell, offsetting gains on Friday, when nearly 99 million shares changed hands, a record high for the stock.

On Friday, the total value of shares outstanding was $1.01 billion, surpassing the company's market cap of about $960 million, according to LSEG data.

The company's shares, which went public about a year ago, are subject to high levels of volatility as only 18% of the shares are available for trading.

The landing could make things easier for other space-focused companies — such as Rocket Lab, Astra Space and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin — seeking stable government investments and contracts.

(Reporting by Akash Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Tasim Zahid)

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