NASA Selects Intuitive Machines for New Lunar Science Delivery

Nova-C lander for the IM-3 mission taking four NASA investigations to Reiner Gamma. (Credit: Intuitive Machines)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA has awarded Intuitive Machines of Houston a contract to deliver research, including science investigations and a technology demonstration, to the Moon in 2024. The commercial delivery is part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative and the Artemis program.

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Northrop Grumman Announces Team for NASA’s Next-Generation Lunar Terrain Vehicle

Lunar terrain vehicle (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

DULLES, Va. – Nov. 16, 2021 – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC), is teaming up with AVL, Intuitive Machines, Lunar Outpost, and Michelin to design a Lunar Terrain Vehicle (LTV) to transport NASA’s Artemis astronauts around the lunar surface. This team provides multi-disciplinary expertise that is ready to deliver an innovative solution to NASA for lunar surface mobility.

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NASA, Intuitive Machines Announce Landing Site Location for Lunar Drill

Nova-C lander on the lunar surface. (Credit: Intuitive Machines)

By Hillary Smith
NASA’s Langley Research Center

HAMPTON, Va. — In late 2022, NASA will send an ice-mining experiment attached to a robotic lander to the lunar South Pole on a ridge not far from Shackleton crater – a location engineers and scientists have assessed for months. NASA and Intuitive Machines, an agency partner for commercial Moon deliveries, announced the location selection Nov. 3.

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Spaceflight Announces Rideshare Mission to the Moon

Sherpa EScape (Credit: Spaceflight Inc.)

SEATTLE, Sept. 14, 2021 (Spaceflight Inc. PR) — Spaceflight Inc., the leader in global launch services, today announced a breakthrough cislunar rideshare mission: “GEO Pathfinder.” As a secondary payload on board Intuitive Machines’ IM-2 South Pole Mission, Spaceflight will execute rideshare deployments in trans-lunar orbit, low-lunar orbit and beyond to geosynchronous equatorial orbit (GEO). Spaceflight will utilize a lunar flyby with its new propulsive transfer vehicle, Sherpa EScape (Sherpa-ES), to deliver a payload from GeoJump, a new company dedicated to providing smallsat rideshare opportunities to GEO, that will also contain an Orbit Fab in-space fueling payload. The mission is slated to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 no earlier than Q4 2022. 

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Intuitive Machines Selects MDA Lunar Landing Sensors to Support for U.S. Mission to Moon in 50 Years

Nova-C landers (Credit: Intuitive Machines)

Contract represents the fourth Lunar sensor award for MDA as the number of planned Moon missions grows

BRAMPTON, Ont. (MDA PR) — MDA Ltd. (TSX:MDA), a leading provider of advanced technology and services to the rapidly-expanding global space industry, today announced that it has signed an agreement with Intuitive Machines, LLC to provide Lunar landing sensors to support its upcoming IM-1 and IM-2 missions. As a result, MDA landing sensors will support the first soft landing US mission to the Moon since 1972, scheduled for early 2022. MDA landing sensors will also support the first ever mining mission to the South pole of the Moon in late 2022.

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IM-2 South Pole Mission Adds Secondary Rideshare Opportunity via Spaceflight Inc.

Nova-C lander on the lunar surface. (Credit: Intuitive Machines)

HOUSTON (Intuitive Machines PR) — Intuitive Machines has partnered with global launch services provider Spaceflight Inc. to provide secondary rideshare services on its upcoming IM-2 South Pole Mission, scheduled to launch no earlier than December 2022.

Utilizing the excess capacity on Intuitive Machines’ Nova-C lunar lander, Spaceflight Inc. will offer rideshare opportunities onboard its next-gen Sherpa Orbital Transfer Vehicle (OTV) for deployment into trans-lunar and low-lunar orbits and beyond to geosynchronous equatorial orbit (GEO).

IM-2 South Pole Mission includes a Nova-C class lander to land 130 kg of payloads on the lunar surface. It also has excess capacity on the launch vehicle that delivers 1000 kg of payloads on an Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA) ring into a direct throw high energy orbit. This high-energy ESPA “rideshare” option allows customers to proceed to lunar capture quickly, redirect to points elsewhere in high Earth orbit, or depart for destinations in the solar system with less demand on their propulsion.

Lunar Traffic to Pick Up as NASA Readies for Robotic Commercial Moon Deliveries

This photograph of a nearly full Moon was taken from the Apollo 8 spacecraft at a point above 70 degrees east longitude. Mare Crisium, the circular, dark-colored area near the center, is near the eastern edge of the Moon as viewed from Earth. (Credits: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA is working on various science instruments and technology experiments from the agency that will operate on the Moon once American companies on Commercial Lunar Payload Services  (CLPS) contracts deliver them to the lunar surface. Through CLPS flights, NASA is buying a complete commercial robotic lunar delivery service and does not provide launch services, own the lander or lead landing operations.

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Tiny NASA Cameras to Watch Commercial Lander form Craters on Moon

HAMPTON, Va. (NASA PR) — This little black camera looks like something out of a spy movie — the kind of device one might use to snap discrete photos of confidential documents.

It’s about half the size of a computer mouse.

But the only spying this camera — four of them, actually — will do is for NASA researchers wondering what happens under a spacecraft as it lands on the Moon.

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Houston Spaceport Slated to Become Home to the World’s First Commercial Space Station Builder

Axiom space station (Credit: Axiom Space)

HOUSTON (Houston Airports PR) — Houston Spaceport, the nation’s 10th commercially licensed Spaceport, will be home to the world’s first commercial space station builder, Axiom Space. The aerospace company announced plans to create a 14-acre headquarters campus to train private astronauts and begin production of its Axiom Station—the world’s first free-flying, internationally available private space station that will serve as humanity’s central hub for research, manufacturing and commerce in low Earth orbit.

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Image-Based Navigation Could Help Spacecraft Safely Land on The Moon

Nova-C lander on the lunar surface. (Credit: Intuitive Machines)

Research demonstrates how a series of lunar images could provide key navigational data

TROY, NY (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute PR) — In order for future lunar exploration missions to be successful and land more precisely, engineers must equip spacecraft with technologies that allow them to “see” where they are and travel to where they need to be. Finding specific locations amid the moon’s complicated topography is not a simple task.

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Moon Mark and Lunar Outpost Announce Partnership for Racers to Land on the Moon in 2021

Credit; Moon Mark

RENO, Nev. (Moon Mark PR) — Moon Mark, the entertainment and education company that will sponsor the first-ever race on the Moon in 2021, today announced it will partner with Golden, CO-based Lunar Outpost to secure the two racers that will make history.

Lunar Outpost will adapt its patented Mobile Autonomous Prospecting Platform (MAPP), created for extraterrestrial scientific missions, for racing mobility.

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ILOA-IM Announce Agreement for 2021 Lunar Landing and Milky Way Galaxy Center Imaging

Nova-C lander on the lunar surface. (Credit: Intuitive Machines)

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).

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IG Audit: NASA Planetary Program Faces Major Financial, Managerial Challenges

Dragonfly flying over the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan.

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

NASA’s Planetary Science Division (PSD) faces a series of managerial, financial and personnel challenges as it prepares to conduct a series of ever more ambitious missions to the moon and planets, according to a new audit by the space agency’s Office of Inspector General (IG).

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Moon Mark Announces Student Rover Race on Lunar Surface

Credit; Moon Mark

HOUSTON, Texas (Moon Mark PR) – Moon Mark, a multi-media entertainment and education content company, has announced a partnership with Houston-based Intuitive Machines, who’s on track to become the first private aerospace company to land on the Moon. The companies will team up to launch the first-ever high school competition to race vehicles on the surface of the Moon. Mission 1 is slated for 2021.

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