(Bloomberg) -- The American-made lander that touched down on the moon likely landed on its side, officials said, raising questions about the historic mission.

Intuitive Machines Inc., the Houston-based maker of the spacecraft, said in a press briefing late Friday it’s still downloading data from the vehicle. The company also said the lander still has “quite a bit of operational capability” and is able to charge.

The complication could be a setback for Intuitive Machines and partner NASA, which initially declared the vehicle was upright. The landing was lauded as the first private-sector lander to reach the moon intact, breaking a string of failures by other companies.

The mission had already faced a hurdle prior to touching down, when the company learned that lasers designed to navigate the moon’s terrain weren’t working properly. Intuitive Machines switched to a NASA lidar instrument and sent the lander on an extra lap around the moon to upload a software patch to boost the lidar’s capability.

Intuitive Machines said it incorrectly believed the lander was upright on Thursday due to faulty data. The vehicle possibly ended up on its side because it reached the lunar surface moving too quickly horizontally. As a result, it could have caught its leg on something and broke it.

The revelation sent the company’s shares plunging as much as 39% after regular trading in New York.

The vehicle, a Nova-C lander nicknamed Odysseus, was carrying carrying six payloads for NASA and five from commercial customers, including sculptures from artist Jeff Koons. One payload, with the sculptures, is facing the moon’s surface. However, the “active” payloads are exposed to space, which was “fortunate,” according to the company.

NASA may still struggle to get all the measurements it needs for the payloads due to the vehicle’s orientation, the space agency said. A solar panel could have been damaged while some antennae on Odysseus are pointed toward the moon’s surface, limiting their ability to send some data back to Earth.

“That really is a limiter of our ability to communicate and get the right data down so that we get everything we need for the mission,” said Intuitive Machines Chief Executive Officer Stephen Altemus.

The Odysseus team expects to get more information about the health of the lander in the coming hours and days.

The development underscores the difficulty of landing a robotic craft on the uneven lunar surface. An Israeli nonprofit, SpaceIL, tried in 2019, but its craft came in too fast and crashed on the surface. Last year, Tokyo-based Ispace Inc. lost contact with its lander, which likely crashed. And in January, Pittsburgh-based Astrobotic’s lander suffered engine failure just after reaching space.

--With assistance from Anne Cronin and Dave Merrill.

(Updates with more details on the lander throughout.)

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