via Intuitive Machines
Intuitive Machines (IM) has reached a long-term agreement with the Morehead State University (MSU) Space Science Center to support all stages of IM’s lunar missions, from launch to lunar surface operations. IM will use MSU Space Science Center’s extremely capable 21-meter space tracking antenna for its upcoming 2022 IM-1 mission to the Moon, its IM-2 polar mission launching as early as December 2022, and more.
“The addition of MSU Space Science Center’s 21-meter dish is a major piece of IM’s Lunar Telemetry and Tracking Network (LTN),” said Intuitive Machines’ Vice President of Control Centers Troy LeBlanc Ph. D. “All of our missions to the Moon will require the technical support and expertise that the team at MSU Space Science Center is ready to provide for mission tracking and data downlink services.”
The university’s 21-meter dish provides telemetry, tracking, ranging, and commanding services for low-Earth, medium-Earth, and near-Earth deep space missions.
“The Morehead State University Space Science Center is extremely excited to join Intuitive Machines’ world-wide network devoted to providing commercial lunar and deep space communications,” said Benjamin Malphrus Ed. D., Executive Director of Space Science Center. “The 21-meter station currently serves as an affiliated node on NASA’s Deep Space Network, so this represents a significant opportunity to join the world’s first commercial lunar network.”
IM’s LTN includes other large parabolic dishes spread across the globe to provide near continuous spacecraft command, control, and communications at lunar distance. The LTN along with IM’s state-of-the-art control center, Nova Control, is a complete service offering to commercial or government partners operating in cislunar space.
About Intuitive Machines
Intuitive Machines' complete lunar program unlocks the lunar economy to explore the solar system further and gain knowledge for the progress of humanity. As the premier provider of space services and technologies, Intuitive Machines is reestablishing the United States' dominance on the ultimate high ground, the Moon. Designed by the greatest minds in spaceflight, IM's lunar program will send the first American spacecraft to the Moon since the Apollo program and send the first spacecraft ever to reach the Lunar South Pole.
About Morehead State University Space Science Center
The Space Science Center at Morehead State University focuses on the development and operation of small satellites, as well as providing Telemetry, Tracking, and Command (TT&C) services with the 21-meter Antenna at UHF, S-Band, X-Band, and Ku-bands for LEO missions and TT&C and Ranging services for inner solar system interplanetary smallsat missions. The Center provides spacecraft environmental testing services including: vibration analysis, T-Vac, EMI/EMC, and antenna characterization. The Center’s staff and students have flown several space missions with partners and have several missions in development, including Lunar IceCube (slated to fly on the NASA Artemis 1 mission). MSU offers academic programs including: B.S. in Space Systems Engineering, B.S. in Astrophysics and M.S. in Space Systems Engineering. Courses are taught by outstanding faculty with industry experience in satellite systems design, defense electronics, and space operations.