Private space operator Intuitive Machines launches Moon mission for NASA

NASA / Intuitive Machines

On February 15, 2024, private space operator Intuitive Machines successfully launched its IM-1 Lunar mission in support of NASA’s Artemis program.  

Intuitive Machines was selected by NASA in 2018 as part of the Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative (CLPS), which outsources certain missions to private operators. Companies taking part in this program are responsible for managing the launch arrangements, technology design and operations on the surface of the Moon. 

IM-1 launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and will land on the Moon’s South Pole near a crater known as Malapert A. It carries onboard a Nova-C lunar lander and six NASA payloads, which will be used to further the exploration of the Earth’s satellite and prepare for the future arrival of astronauts. 

Intuitive Machines is providing regular updates about the status of the mission and the different maneuvers of the spacecraft on its social media channels. 

Intuitive Machines is one of five private operators selected for the CLPS initiative. Altogether, they are expected to deliver 40 payloads to the Moon between 2024 and 2026. 

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