"…America's challenge of today has forged man's destiny of tomorrow. And, as we leave the Moon at Taurus-Littrow, we leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return: with peace and hope for all mankind..."
Gene Cernan – Apollo 17
Almost 50 years ago when Apollo 17 left the Moon, Gene Cernan challenged humanity to return. We are doing our best to enable that return and ignite the cislunar economy by building the capabilities and supporting infrastructure we need.
Getting There – Lunar Transportation
The first U.S. Vehicle to softly land on the lunar surface since 1972, will be our Nova-C lander. Powered by our VR900 engine, and replete with innovative avionics for advanced guidance, navigation and control, “IM-1” is capable of carrying 130kg of cargo, and will ferry numerous experiments to the lunar surface by 2022.
IM-2 will follow up in 2022 with our second flight, as we become the first object to land at the South Pole, use the Moon’s first ice drill, deploy our micro-Nova “hopper” – a rover to test the Nokia LTE network, and much more!
Click the logos below to find out more about some of our experiments on IM-1:
Getting There – Flexible Options
Building off the solid framework of our Nova-C lander systems and structures, we have created a scalable path for additional vehicles. Nova-D, thanks to its two VR900 engines and enlarged tanks, boasts a 500+kg payload capacity. Our largest lander, the Nova-M relies on its two VR3500 engines to carry a whopping 5,000kg of payload to the lunar surface.
These options afford flexibility for our customers as we pioneer a thriving, diverse lunar economy, and enable a permanent presence on the Moon.
Getting Around – EXTREME Lunar Surface Mobility
The µNova is a small robotic, deployable spacecraft that provides a novel type of mobility to reach extreme lunar environments like pits and craters. Acting as a payload on a lander like the Nova-C, µNova deploys once on the lunar surface and uses its own propulsion system to autonomously fly, or “hop”, between locations of interest. How’s that for extreme mobility?
The first µNova will fly to the Moon on IM-2 and perform a demonstration mission at the Lunar South Pole for the NASA Tipping Point program.
Capable of traveling up to 25 km from its host lander with a payload of 5 kg, µNova enables a number of mission types, including regional surveys, prospecting of multiple dispersed sites, and accessing hard-to-reach locations like permanently shadowed regions, lunar pits, and craters.
The technology is also scalable to provide similar access for larger payloads over a longer distance.
Getting Data – Communication
Intuitive Machines is the only company capable of providing a commercial lunar and deep space communication network as an alternative to NASA’s aging and overtasked Deep Space Network (DSN) assets. Intuitive Machines has all of the required critical infrastructure in place and existing agreements with global ground stations to provide seamless coverage.
Houston, We Have a Control Room…
In addition to our own Lunar Communication Network, Intuitive Machines has its own world-class control center. Built from the ground up by our highly experienced team, Nova Control enables collaboration, innovation and seamless operations, in this 24-hour facility that will provide tracking, telemetry & communications support for cis-lunar space and the surface of the Moon. Our team is already hard at work training for the IM-1 mission, preparing for nominal and off-nominal situations to make sure we “stick the landing”!