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NASA Selects Intuitive Machines to Deliver 4 Lunar Payloads in 2024

Press Release From: Intuitive Machines, LLC
Posted: Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Houston – NASA has selected Intuitive Machines to deliver four science and technology demonstration payloads to Reiner Gamma on the Moon at the firm fixed price of $77,500,000. The near 100kg surface payload delivery mission is the Houston-based company’s third Moon contract award under NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative. The CLPS payloads will be incorporated into the already announced IM-3 commercial mission and fly on board a Nova-C lander. IM-3 is the third mission in Intuitive Machines’ Lunar Payload and Data Services (LPDS) program, building upon systems which will be demonstrated in their inaugural IM-1 mission to deliver six CLPS payloads and four commercial payloads to Oceanus Procellarum in the first quarter of 2022. 

“Every element of our LPDS program is mature and will be demonstrated on our IM-1 and IM-2 missions including the Nova-C lander, ground communications, mission operations, launch service, and payload integration,” said Intuitive Machines President and CEO, Steve Altemus. “This win is another example of our commitment to help lay the foundation for a sustained long-term presence on the lunar surface.”

Intuitive Machines will provide lunar delivery and operational support service for 91.6kg of CLPS payloads; and 9.3GB/day of data over more than 312 hours of surface operations using the company’s Lunar Telemetry and Tracking Network (LTN) and state-of-the-art mission control center, Nova Control in Houston, TX. The NASA-provided science and technology demonstration payloads are MPAc, LUSEM, CADRE (four lunar rovers), and Lunar Vertex (one lunar-rover).

In addition to CLPS payloads, IM-3 will continue to build intuitive Machines’ lunar data relay services program, Khonstellation. The second node in Khonstellation will deliver the company’s data services satellite (Khon2) to a L2 orbit, adding to the first node (Khon1) delivered to a frozen lunar orbit during Intuitive Machines’ IM-2 south pole mission in fourth quarter of 2022. 

About Intuitive Machines    

Intuitive Machines' complete LPDS program unlocks the lunar economy to explore the solar system further and gain knowledge for the progress of humanity. As a 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, Intuitive Machines' LPDS program will send the first American spacecraft to the surface of the Moon since the Apollo Program and send the first spacecraft ever to reach the lunar south pole.

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