This is turning out to be a particularly busy year for flights to the moon, with commercial companies and universities taking leading roles. Let’s look at the status of spacecraft that are at, headed for, or being prepared for launch to our nearest celestial neighbor.
HOUSTON, Texas, December 9, 2021 (Intuitive Machines PR) – Columbia Sportswear’s new Omni-Heat Infinity reflective technology will be incorporated into Intuitive Machines’ upcoming mission to the Moon. Selected by NASA to build and launch their Nova-C lunar lander, Intuitive Machines’ mission will mark the United States’ first return to the lunar surface in 50 years.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 […]
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.