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Intuitive Machines

Illustration of Intuitive Machines' Nova-C lunar lander
Illustration of Intuitive Machines’ Nova-C lunar lander.
Intuitive Machines

Intuitive Machines was selected to be part of the CLPS vendor pool in 2018 and was awarded three task orders for scientific payload delivery.

The first Intuitive Machines flight, IM-1, will use the company’s Nova-C lunar lander and is scheduled to land in 2023 in the Moon’s South Pole region. The IM-1 flight will carry six NASA payloads that will focus on plume-surface interactions, space weather/lunar surface interactions, radio astronomy, precision landing technologies, and a communication and navigation node for future autonomous navigation technologies.

Intuitive Machines’ second awarded flight, IM-2, is scheduled to land at the lunar South Pole as early as November 2023. This will be the first on site, or in-situ, resource utilization demonstration on the Moon utilizing a drill and mass spectrometer to measure the volatile content of subsurface materials. This is the first CLPS procurement of contract-acquired scientific data.

The third Intuitive Machines awarded flight, IM-3, is scheduled to land at the Moon’s Reiner Gamma swirl in 2024 using the Nova-C lunar lander. Payloads include a magnetometer, camera, electron and ion spectrometer, a small rover with a second magnetometer, and a multispectral microscope. This payload suite will study the properties of the Reiner Gamma swirl and its mini-magnetosphere. The delivery also includes a demonstration of swarm robotics technology with the deployment of four small autonomous rovers. Two international payloads will investigate the near-surface radiation environment (South Korea) and an actuated retroreflector provided by the European Space Agency will make high-resolution Earth-Moon distance measurements. Reiner Gamma is a lunar magnetic anomaly known as a lunar swirl located on the lunar near side in Oceanus Procellarum. Lunar swirls are associated with magnetic anomalies in the lunar crust, but more data is needed to understand their formation.

CLPS Flight: IM-1  

Launch Date: 2024  

Landing Site: South Pole region 

Payloads: CLPS IM-1 NASA-Provided Lunar Payloads   

Lander Name: Nova-C  

Task Order Information: TO2-IM  

CLPS Flight: IM-2  

Expected Launch Date: 2024  

Landing Site: South Pole  

Payloads: CLPS IM-2 NASA-Provided Lunar Payloads 

Lander Name: Nova-C 

Task Order Information: TO Polar Resources Ice Mining Experiment-1 (PRIME-1)    


CLPS Flight:  IM-3  

Expected Launch Date: 2024  

Landing Site: Reiner Gamma   

Payloads: CLPS IM-3 NASA-Provided Lunar Payloads  

Lander Name: Nova-C  

Task Order Information: TO CP-11 (CLPS PRISM 11)