SpaceX wins lunar lander contracts, environmental satellite missions

SpaceX earned contracts on January 13 to deploy a commercial lunar lander spacecraft which is supported by NASA Agency and a methane emission tracking satellite which. Intuitive Machines has announced that it has selected SpaceX to pilot its IM-2 lunar lander flight as early as 2022 on the Falcon 9 rocket. IM-2 will arrive In the southern polar region of the moon, bearing payloads organized in the month of October via Commercial Lunar Payload Services commonly abbreviated as CLPS of government system. The IM-2 spacecraft that will scan for water ice will perform a drilling mission called Polar Resources Ice Mining Experiment 1 commonly dubbed PRIME-1 will be performed by an IM-2 spacecraft searching water ice underneath the lunar surface.

Intuitive Machines stated that two other NASA Agency technology payloads can fly on lander, in relation to PRIME-1 drill. Intuitive Machines went on to choose SpaceX during its first lander flight, IM-1. It is predicted that the spacecraft will be launched as among the first two CLPS lander flights later this year. A lander configuration dubbed Nova-C will be used for both missions. In a published report, Steve Altemus, chief executive officer of Intuitive Machines and president, stated, “The deployment of Nova-C on the rocket with a track history of durability and emphasis on quality is a guarantee to NASA as well as our commercial payload consumers, which IM is committed to holding the landing in the back-to-back missions to the moon.”

One of three corporations which were able to win CLPSS of NASA accolades to date is the Intuitive Machines. Masten Space Systems firm selected SpaceX to launch their XL-1 lander. In April 2020, Masten Space Systems Corporation received the CLPS lander mission to south polar region of the moon.  Masten added at the period that this SpaceX contract will not be protect a specific launch vehicle but instead a center on the corporation’s desired timetable to carry the satellite to the moon. At the maiden flight of the Unified Launch Alliance’s Vulcan Centaur at the completion of the year 2021, Astrobotic, which won the initial CLPS Prize together with Intuitive Machines in 2019 May, will pilot the flight.

Astrobotic garnered a CLPS accolade in June for the deployment of the VIPER lunar rover of NASA to the South Pole of the moon at the end of 2023, but with the deployment vehicle for such a mission was not announced. MethaneSAT, affiliate of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), revealed in a separate declaration that it was going to deploy its iconic Falcon 9 satellite in 2022 October. As per mission spokesman Jon Coifman, the spaceship will deployment through Smallsat rideshare network of SpaceX. “SpaceX provides the readiness and efficiency we require to send our instruments into orbit as rapidly as feasible and start streaming emissions results. We could not ask for a more competent partner for the launch,” Steven Hamburg, MethaneSAT project co-lead, said in a statement.

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