KAMUELA, Hawai’i, 12 November 2020 (ILOA Hawaii PR) – The International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA Hawaii) has contracted Intuitive Machines (IM) of Houston TX to fly its ILO-X payload on the IM-1 Nova-C lander mission set to launch in the fourth quarter of 2021 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to Vallis Schröteri, also known as Schroter’s Valley (24.53° N, 50.49° W).
ILO-X is a precursor to the ILOA flagship Moon South Pole Observatory ILO-1. The ~0.6kg ILO-X instrument, being built for ILOA by Toronto-based Canadensys Aerospace, includes a dual-camera miniaturized lunar imaging suite that aims to capture some of the first images of the Milky Way Galaxy Center from the surface of the Moon, as well as performing other celestial / Earth / local lunar environment observations and exploration technology validations – including functionality and survivability in the lunar environment.
“The Milky Way Galaxy first view from the Moon with ILO-X could provide a new 21st Century perspective for the human future, like the Earth-Rise first view from the Moon did for Global understandings last century” says ILOA Director Steve Durst – who, along with 27 Board of Directors and global network through its Galaxy Forum program, has been looking forward to achieving this image since the ILOA 2007 founding.
Larger ILO-1 and ILO-2 observations and communications missions are under development, for which follow on is being planned to launch 2022-23.
In addition to Intuitive Machines’ IM-1 mission in 2021, NASA recently selected Intuitive Machines to deliver the Polar Resources Ice Mining Experiment (PRIME-1) drill, combined with a mass spectrometer, to the Moon’s South Pole by December 2022. Both awarded missions are in support of Artemis.
“Our IM-1 mission is reimagining what’s possible for the commercial space industry,” said Intuitive Machines Vice President of Aerospace Services, Trent Martin. “We believe ILOA’s 13-year journey to capture the first ever image of the Milky Way Galaxy Center from the lunar surface is remarkable, and we can’t wait to stick the landing in 2021.”
As plans progress for the first woman and next man on the Moon to touchdown near the Moon South Pole in the 2024-2026 time frame, potential collaboration / upgrades for the ILO-1 mission and other instruments are being considered.
About ILOA: The ILOA is an interglobal enterprise incorporated in the Aloha 50th State of Hawaii as a 501(c)(3) non-profit to help realize the multifunctional ILO — to advance human knowledge of the Cosmos through observation from our Moon, and to participate in lunar base build-out. The ILOA also since 2008 has co-sponsored with its Space Age Publishing Company affiliate an international series of Galaxy Forums and Lunar Commercial Communications Workshops.
About IM: Intuitive Machines is a premier provider and supplier of space products and services that enable sustained robotic and human exploration to the Moon, Mars and beyond. We drive markets with competitive world-class offerings synonymous with innovation, high quality, and precision. Whether leveraging state-of-the-art engineering tools and practices or integrating research and advanced technologies, our solutions are insightful and have a positive impact on the world.
About CSYS: Canadensys Aerospace is a space systems and services company with a focus on high reliability missions from Earth orbit out to the Moon, Mars and beyond. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Canadensys supports both government and commercial space exploration missions with systems specifically tailored for extended performance and longevity in the lunar environment, from long-range mobility and enhanced situational awareness to lunar night survival and shadowed region operations. Canadensys also provides robust high-performance spacecraft systems to a number of international commercial initiatives.