Intuitive Machines IM-1 Spacecraft Begins Journey to the Moon with Canadian Technology

Deployment of the Intuitive Machine's IM-1 spacecraft from the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on its way to the Moon. Image credit: SpaceX.

A SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocketed into the dark sky at 1:05 a.m. EST from Launch Complex 39A in Florida with the Intuitive Machines IM-1 spacecraft and began its week long journey to the Moon. Canadian technology from Canadensys Aerospace and MDA are onboard.

Forty eight minutes after launch the IM-1 spacecraft was deployed from the SpaceX Falcom 9 second stage. A critical milestone will happen 18 hours after launch when the IM-1 will fire its main engines. This is a new engine developed by Intuitive Machines and will be used for trajectory maneuvers and to go into lunar orbit.

NASA reported at 2:01 a.m EST that the “Intuitive Machines’ Nova-C lander successfully powered on, made communications contact, and is now on its way to the Moon, carrying NASA science and technology demonstrations as part of the agency’s CLPS (Commercial Lunar Payload Services) initiative and Artemis campaign.”

The Nova-C lander “is targeted to land Thursday, Feb. 22, in a relatively flat and safe area near the Malapert A crater, in the south polar region of the Moon.”

Oblique image showing the IM-1 landing area, acquired from an altitude of 78 kilometers with a slew angle of 64° on 2023-04-02. North is to the right, 57 kilometers wide at the center, LROC NAC M1435077792LR [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].
Oblique image showing the IM-1 landing area, acquired from an altitude of 78 kilometers with a slew angle of 64° on 2023-04-02. North is to the right, 57 kilometers wide at the center, LROC NAC M1435077792LR [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

The IM-1 spacecraft carries a green landing sensor built by MDA that will be used in guiding the Nova-C lander to its landing area on the Moon.

Also onboard IM-1 are imagers from Canadensys Aerospace for the International Lunar Observatory Association and Intuitive Machines.

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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