It is delayed one day: IM-1 is the new US bet to land on the Moon with a private mission

Nueva apuesta de EE UU para aterrizar en la Luna con una mision privada

The Odysseus or Odysseus module will seek to land on the Moon this February to carry out NASA experiments, in what will be the first US lunar landing since Apollo 17 in 1972 and a new attempt by private companies, after the failed arrival at the Moon. Peregrine's lunar surface last January.


The new mission, called IM-1, of the company Intuitive Machines, will go aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and will have a launch window from central Florida to the south pole of the Moon starting early this morning Thursday, February 15, one day late after yesterday's attempt that ended in a scrub due to temperature problems in the rocket.

Takeoff will depend on both weather conditions and the success of previous tests.

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According to Intuitive Machines, IM-1 seeks to create an economical platform that will carry both NASA scientific instruments as well as commercial cargo to the Moon, to pave the way for a sustainable human presence on that natural satellite and its surroundings.

This Intuitive Machines IM-1 mission carries NASA scientific instruments and a commercial payload

NASA specified this Monday in a teleconference that the “goal is for us to investigate the Moon in preparation for Artemis.” “We traveled on the lunar lander developed by the commercial industry; “These are not NASA missions, they are commercial missions,” he indicated. Daniel Cremons, one of the researchers at the US space agency.

However, he specified that the agency is ready to do business in a “different way” by developing a “lunar economy” with the help of the private sector to bring its instruments to the lunar surface.

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Nova-C lunar lander encapsulated inside a Falcon 9 rocket.

A “soft” moon landing

Texas-based Intuitive Machines said the mission is aimed at making the first “soft” landing by a U.S. company on the lunar surface.

The launch of the lunar lander Nova-C series, called Odysseus, is planned for the 00:57 in the morning on Thursday, February 15 (5:57 GMT) from Kennedy Space Center from NASA.

It is the second mission of NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative, after the failed Peregrine.

According to NASA, the module is expected to land on the Moon on Thursday, February 22.

This is the second mission of the initiative Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) from NASA, after Peregrine from the Astrobotic Technology company.

Last January, Peregrine failed in its attempt to land on the Moon with NASA and other commercial loads due to fuel supply problems, among others.

Seven days of research

Once in orbit, Odysseus will separate from the Falcon 9 rocket and head towards the Moon. The module is expected to land on the lunar surface approximately nine days after launch.

After landing, the idea is that operations there will extend for about seven days before lunar night arrives at the south pole, leaving Odysseus inoperable.

The module is expected to land on the lunar surface approximately nine days after launch

The landing will be in the vicinity of the Malapert massif, about 300 kilometers from the south pole of the Moon, an area full of “uncertainty,” according to NASA experts.

Researchers believe the area is composed of lunar highland material, similar to the Apollo 16 landing site.

The site is one of 13 regions NASA is considering for the Artemis III mission, which will be that program's first crewed lunar landing mission and the first crewed flight of SpaceX's Starship HLS lander.

Environmentally friendly propeller

The Odysseus module, NASA noted, is equipped with a propulsion system powered by an environmentally friendly mixture of oxygen and methane, both liquids.

The main objective of this mission is to bring scientific instruments and technological demonstrations to the south polar region of the Moon, a part that remains unexplored, except for the point where the Indian mission 'Chandrayaan-3' landed.

The goal is to bring scientific instruments and technological demonstrations to the south polar region of the Moon, a part that remains almost unexplored.

Intuiti Machines has noted that this mission represents a pivotal moment in the participation of private companies in the space race and a milestone in lunar exploration, reviving human interest in the Moon after decades of hiatus.

The success of the IM-1 mission “will lay the foundation for a lunar economy prosperous, opening new possibilities for research, commerce and exploration, and bringing closer humanity's dream of becoming a multiplanetary species," the company said.

Fountain: EFE
Rights: Creative Commons.
Octavio Alonso