Intuitive Machines has announced that its IM-3 lander mission will launch on a Falcon 9 in 2024.
Commercial lunar lander developer Intuitive Machines will launch its third lunar lander mission (IM-3) on a SpaceX Falcon 9, the same vehicle the company selected for its first two lander missions.
The company previously selected SpaceX to launch its IM-1 and IM-2 lander missions, which are currently scheduled to launch in Q1 and Q4 of 2022, respectively.
Intuitive Machines first two lander missions are carrying out task orders for NASA awarded under its Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) programme. However, IM-3 is not linked to any CLPS missions.
Commenting on the agreement, Steve Altemus, President and CEO of Intuitive Machines, said: Were offering our customers more than lunar surface payload delivery and extreme surface mobility. Our turnkey solution for delivering, communicating, and commanding customer payloads on and around the Moon is revolutionary. Now, were proving we can do it at an annual cadence.
The IM-3 mission includes a Nova-C class lander to land 130kg of payloads on the lunar surface. It also has excess capacity on the launch vehicle that accommodates 1000kg of payloads on a rideshare dispenser ring that deploys into a lunar transfer orbit. Intuitive Machines rideshare option puts customers in a high-energy orbit to efficiently proceed to lunar capture, redirect to points elsewhere in high Earth orbit, or depart for destinations in the solar system.