Nova-C IM- 3 [Intuitive Machines]
Nova-C is a lunar lander privately developed by Intuitive Machines for the Google Lunar-X-Prize and later offered commercially.
NASA has awarded a contract to Intuitive Machines of Houston to deliver research to the Moon in 2024, including science investigations and a technology demonstration. NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative and the Artemis program are both involved in the commercial delivery.
Reiner Gamma, one of the Moon's most distinctive and enigmatic natural features, is the target of the investigations aboard Intuitive Machines' Nova-C lander. Reiner Gamma, also known as a lunar swirl, is located on the western edge of the Moon as seen from Earth and is one of the most visible lunar swirls. Scientists are still learning about lunar swirls, how they form, and how they relate to the Moon's magnetic field.
The contract will be worth $77.5 million to Intuitive Machines, which will be responsible for end-to-end delivery services such as payload integration, delivery from Earth to the Moon's surface, and payload operations. This is the third task order awarded to Intuitive Machines, the first of which is a delivery to Oceanus Procellarum on the Moon during the first quarter of 2022. The seventh surface delivery task award given to a CLPS provider.
The four investigations that Intuitive Machines will deliver to Reiner Gamma are expected to weigh approximately 203 pounds (92 kg) and include:
The Nova-C IM-3 lander will be launched on a shared SpaceX Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) rocket in 2024.
Following NASA payloads have been selected for the mission:
|Type / Application:||Lunar lander|
|Equipment:||Lunar Vertex, CADRE, MoonLIGHT, LUSEM|
|Power:||Solar cells, batteries|
|Nova-C IM-3||-||2024||CC||Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5)||with ?|