Commercial lunar lander developer Intuitive Machines will launch its third lunar lander mission on a SpaceX Falcon 9, the same vehicle the company selected for its first two lander missions.
The first lunar lander mission by Intuitive Machines, which had been scheduled for launch late this year, has been delayed to early 2022 by its launch provider, SpaceX.
SpaceX secured contracts Jan. 13 for the launches of a commercial lunar lander mission backed by NASA as well as a privately funded satellite to track methane emissions.
Spacebit is inviting university researchers to share data the London-based company plans to obtain from the miniature rovers scheduled to travel to the moon with Astrobotic Technology and Intuitive Machines in 2021.
NASA has awarded more than $400 million in contracts to both demonstrate technologies needed for future lunar exploration and to send an ice-drilling payload to the south pole of the moon.
Intuitive Machines has identified a landing site for a commercial lunar lander mission next year that will carry payloads from NASA and other customers.
As NASA adds new companies to a commercial lunar landing services program, some existing participants worry its value to them may now be diminished.
Intuitive Machines, a company with a NASA contract to fly payloads to the moon in 2021, announced Oct. 2 it has signed a contract with SpaceX for the launch of its lunar lander.
NASA announced Sept. 27 the award of more than $40 million in contracts to 14 companies, including Blue Origin and SpaceX, to develop technologies that can support NASA’s long-term exploration plans.
NASA announced May 31 the award of more than $250 million in contracts to three companies to deliver NASA payloads to the lunar surface by 2021.
NASA has picked nine companies, ranging from startups to aerospace giants, to be eligible for future contracts to deliver payloads to the surface of the moon, but with no guarantee of business for any of them.
Commercial lunar transportation firm Moon Express delivered 590,710 shares of stock worth an estimated $2.25 million to Intuitive Machines LLC, a firm with autonomous systems expertise, as ordered Oct. 15 by a federal judge in Delaware.
A Delaware jury awarded $4.1 million in cash and Moon Express equity to Intuitive Machines, a Houston-based company Moon Express hired to write flight software and develop a terrestrial return vehicle for its commercial lunar transportation business.