Press Release

Morehead State University Space Science Center to support Intuitive Machines’ Missions to the Moon

By SpaceRef Editor
June 29, 2021
Filed under , ,

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. 

SpaceRef staff editor.