(Bloomberg) -- The US spacecraft that stumbled during its historic moon landing last week is going dark Wednesday evening, capping a closely watched mission that advanced private-sector space exploration but fell short of customers’ overall goals.

After six days on the moon, the “robust” and “plucky” spacecraft will soon lack the power to transmit data, Steve Altemus, chief executive officer of Intuitive Machines Inc., which built and operated the lander, told reporters on Wednesday.

The spacecraft, nicknamed Odysseus, gathered “so much data and information and science,” Altemus said. “It’s just an incredible testament to how robust...that little spacecraft is.”

After slipping into hibernation around 7 p.m. US East Coast time on Wednesday, Intuitive Machines will try to wake up Odysseus after about two weeks of lunar night to see if the craft’s solar panels can harness returning sunlight, Altemus said. 

NASA paid about $118 million to Intuitive Machines for the moon journey, carrying payloads for the space agency and commercial customers. The mission is part of NASA’s broader, $2.6 billion strategy to tap private sector technology to explore the moon as it prepares for human missions later this decade.

It marked the first private-sector lander to reach the moon intact — and America’s first successful landing in more than 50 years. It also broke a string of failures by other companies at a time of resurgent national interest and investment in exploring the moon.   

But Odysseus’ faster-than-expected landing limited communications from the little-explored lunar south pole. Company executives said on Wednesday that Intuitive was able to forge workarounds and communicate with customers’ instruments, sending home some 350 megabytes of engineering and science data.

Still, the mission endured other setbacks. Because of the rough landing — which left the vehicle tilted at a roughly 30-degree angle — a system failed to study how its engines kicked up moon dust. A separate camera designed by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University failed to deploy and capture the landing, though flight controllers later managed to eject it. No images have returned.

“What does the future hold? Number one, more cameras,” Tim Crain, Intuitive’s Chief Technology Officer told reporters. 

Later this year, Intuitive hopes to send another lander to the moon’s south pole with equipment to look for water by collecting and analyzing soil at different depths. A third mission will send a number of payloads, including shoebox-sized robots to wheel around the moon’s Reiner Gamma swirl and collect 3D imagery. 

(Updates with details on mission from seventh paragraph.)

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