Canadensys Aerospace announced today that it delivered the ILO-X payload, consisting of a dual-imaging instrument to Intuitive Machines and destined for the Moon’s surface later this year.
Intuitive Machines will launch its IM-1 lunar lander mission sometime later this year. Currently the lander is scheduled to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 in the third quarter of the year.
One of the payloads on the IM-1 mission is the International Lunar Observatory Association’s (ILOA) ILO-X dual imager built by Canadensys. This mission is a precursor to ILOA’s flagship observatory, ILO-1, which will be “a permanent observatory located on Malapert Mountain near the Moon South Pole.”
For the ILO-X precursor mission the Canadensys imagers will “provide operational demonstration of some of the key elements that will be used on the ILO-1.” ILOA chose Canadensys Aerospace as the prime contractor for both the ILO-X and ILO-1 instruments.
The ILO-X is designed to “operate for one lunar day at a mid-latitude location on the Moon.” It will “capture the first images of the Milky Way Galactic Center from the surface of the Moon.”
Steve Durst, ILOA Founding Director said that “We look forward to seeing the Galaxy First Light images from the ILO-X instruments when it arrives on the Moon, after many years of work with Canadensys and the other members of our team.”
Christian Sallaberger, President & CEO of Canadensys Aerospace said “Canadensys proudly supports ILOA in advancing its vision of observation and communication from the Moon South Pole. These observatories will observe the cosmos as well as document human activities on the local lunar surface. This will provide an interglobal perspective back to Earth from the Moon as humanity pushes out into the solar system and the Galaxy beyond.”
Canadensys Aerospace is also in the running to send Canada’s first rover to the lunar surface. Earlier this year they revealed their team for the Canadian Space Agency’s competitive contract solicitation, the Lunar Rover Mission.