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Intuitive Machines 1 (TO2-IM)



The Intuitive Machines 1 (IM-1, TO2-IM) mission objective is to place a lander, called Nova-C, at crater Malapert A near the south pole of the Moon. The commercially built lander will carry five NASA payloads and commercial cargo. The scientific objectives of the mission include studies of plume-surface interactions, radio astronomy, and space weather interactions with the lunar surface. It will also be demonstrating precision landing technologies and communication and navigation node capabilities. IM-1 was selected through NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative, in which NASA contracts with a commercial partner, in this case Intuitive Machines, that provides the launch and lander.

The Nova-C Lander is a hexagonal cylinder, 4.0 meters tall and 1.57 meters wide, on 6 landing legs with a launch mass of 1908 kg. It is capable of carrying approximately 100 kg of payload to the surface. It uses solar panels to generate 200 W of power on the surface, using a 25 amp-hr battery and a 28 VDC system. Propulsion and landing use liquid methane as fuel and liquid oxygen as an oxidizer powering a 3100 N main engine mounted on the bottom of the lander. Communications are via S-band. The scientific payload includes the Laser Retro-Reflector Array (LRA), Navigation Doppler Lidar for Precise Velocity and Range Sensing (NDL), Lunar Node 1 Navigation Demonstrator (LN-1), Stereo Cameras for Lunar Plume-Surface Studies (SCALPSS), and Radio wave Observation at the Lunar Surface of the photoElectron Sheath (ROLSES). In total there are five NASA and four commercial payloads planned.

Launch is currently scheduled for no earlier than 12 January 2024. After launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral, the Nova-C spacecraft will go into a 185 x 60,000 km Earth orbit, followed by a translunar injection and a maneuver to put it in a 100 km lunar orbit. The lander will land on the Moon at Malapert A crater near the south pole. The lander is capable of operating for about 14 Earth days in sunlight.

For more on NASA's CLPS initiative and missions, see:

Image credit: Intuitive Machines

Alternate Names

  • IntuitiveMachines1(IM1)
  • Nova-C Lander
  • IM-1
  • TO2-IM

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 
Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 1908 kg
Nominal Power: 200 W

Funding Agency

  • Unknown (United States)


  • Planetary Science

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Dr. David R. Williams



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Susan LedererProject ScientistNASA Johnson Space
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