The Odysseus u module Odysseus An attempt will be made to land on the moon in February this year to conduct NASA experiments. This will be the first U.S. lunar landing since Apollo 17 in 1972 and a new attempt by private companies following the failed arrival of the Peregrine on the lunar surface last January.
The new mission, called IM-1the company Intuitive machineswill board a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and will have a launch window from central Florida to the Moon’s south pole beginning this morning Wednesday, February 14th.
The launch depends on both weather conditions and the success of previous tests.
The Nova-C lunar landing module is housed in a Falcon 9 rocket. / EFE/SpaceX
According to Intuitive Machines, IM-1 aims to create an economical platform capable of transporting both NASA scientific instruments and commercial cargo to the Moon, paving the way for a sustainable human presence on this natural satellite and its surroundings.
NASA specified in a conference call this Monday that “the goal is for us to study the Moon in preparation for Artemis.” “We travel on the lunar module developed by the commercial industry; these are not NASA missions, they are commercial missions,” he said. Daniel Cremonsone of the researchers at the US space agency.
However, he specified that the agency was ready to do business in a “different way” by creating a “Lunar economy“with the help of the private sector to bring its instruments to the lunar surface.
A “soft” moon landing
Texas-based Intuitive Machines said the mission aims to make the first “soft” landing by a U.S. company on the lunar surface.
The launch of the lunar lander Nova C seriescalled Odysseus, is planned for the 12:57 a.m. on Wednesday, February 14th (5:57 GMT) from Kennedy Space Center from NASA.
According to NASA, the module is expected to land on the moon on Thursday, February 22nd.
This is the second mission of the initiative Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) from NASA, after Peregrine from the company Astrobotic Technology.
Last January, Peregrine’s attempt to land NASA and other commercial payloads on the Moon failed due, among other things, to fuel supply problems.
Seven days of research
Once in orbit, Odysseus will separate from the Falcon 9 rocket and head toward the moon. The module is expected to land on the lunar surface about nine days after launch.
After landing, operations there are expected to last about seven days before the lunar night reaches the South Pole and renders Odysseus inoperable.
The landing takes place near the Malapert massifabout 300 kilometers from the moon’s south pole, an area full of “uncertainty,” according to NASA experts.
Researchers believe the area consists 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. This is the first manned lunar landing mission of this program and the first manned flight of SpaceX’s Starship HLS lander.
Environmentally friendly propeller
According to NASA, the Odysseus module is equipped with a propulsion system that is powered by an environmentally friendly mixture oxygen and methaneboth 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 India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission landed.
Intuiti Machines has determined that this mission represents a pivotal moment in the participation of private companies in the space race and a milestone in lunar exploration, revitalizing human interest in the Moon after a decades-long hiatus.
The success of the IM-1 mission “will lay the foundation for a Lunar economy “We will succeed, opening up new opportunities for research, trade and exploration, and advancing humanity’s dream of becoming a multiplanetary species,” the company said.