Big Island astronomers laud success of lunar mission

FILE - This photo provided by Intuitive Machines shows the company's IM-1 Nova-C lunar lander in Houston in October 2023. The private U.S. lunar lander reached the moon and eased into a low orbit Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024, a day before it will attempt an even greater feat _ landing on the gray, dusty surface. (Intuitive Machines via AP, File)

Hawaii astronomers were over the moon Thursday after a private commercial company’s spacecraft made the first successful American moon landing in more than 50 years.