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TO CP-11 - Intuitive Machines 3 (IM-3)



TO CP-11, or Intuitive Machines 3 (IM-3) is a lunar landing mission planned for 2024. It will carry four NASA payloads to the Reiner Gamma region of the Moon, as well as a data relay satellite and secondary payloads to be determined. IM-3 is part of NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative, in which NASA contracts with a commercial partner that provides the launch and lander.

Spacecraft and Subsystems

The main component of IM-3 is the Nova-C Lander, a tall hexagonal cylinder on 6 landing legs. It is capable of carrying 100 to 130 kg of payload to the surface. It uses solar panels to generate 200 W of power on the surface. Propulsion and landing use liquid methane as fuel and liquid oxygen as an oxidizer.

NOVA-C will carry approximately 92 kg of payload to the surface, comprising four investigations. Lunar Vertex is a combination rover and stationary instruments on the lander to study the plasma and dust environment. The Cooperative Autonomous Distributed Robotic Exploration (CADRE) experiment is a collection of small mobile robots designed to explore the surface as an autonomous team. MoonLIGHT (Moon Laser Instrumentation for General relativity High-accuracy Test) is a laser retroreflector managed by the European Space Agency. The Lunar Space Environment Monitor (LUSEM) will measure high-energy particles at the lunar surface and is managed by the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI) in South Korea.

The mission is also scheduled to carry a data relay satellite, Khon2, which it will deploy to travel to the L2 Earth-Moon libration point. The mission can also carry approximately 1000 kg of secondary payloads to lunar transfer orbit.

Mission Profile

Launch on a Falcon 9 is planned for some time in 2024. It will land in the Reiner Gamma region, on the western edge of the Moon as seen from Earth. Reiner Gamma is known as a "lunar swirl", an unusual feature on the Moon thought to be related to the Moon's crustal magnetic field. The mission is scheduled to deploy its rovers and perform surface operations for about 13 Earth days, sending 9.3 GB of data back to Earth each day. The Lunar Vertex rover is planned to travel about 2 km.

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

Alternate Names

    Facts in Brief

    Launch Date: 
    Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9
    Launch Site: , United States

    Funding Agency

    • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (United States)


    • Planetary Science

    Additional Information

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



    NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
    Dr. Heidi HavilandProject ScientistNASA Marshall Space Flight
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