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SpaceX to Launch Second Intuitive Machines’ Moon Mission 

By Rachel Jewett | January 14, 2021

Intuitive Machines lunar lander. Photo: Intuitive Machines

Intuitive Machines has selected SpaceX to launch its NASA-backed IM-2 Polar Mission to the Moon on a Falcon 9 rocket no earlier than 2022, the company announced Wednesday. 

NASA awarded IM the $47 million contract under its Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative in October 2020. IM will deliver NASA’s Polar Resources Ice Mining Experiment (PRIME-1) drill, combined with a mass spectrometer to help NASA search for ice at the Moon’s South Pole and harvest ice from below the surface.

This is IM’s second NASA payload delivery contract, and SpaceX is also set to launch its first. In October 2019, IM selected SpaceX to launch its Nova-C lunar lander mission

“Signing with SpaceX for our IM-2 Polar Mission, our second scheduled lunar landing, is more than affordable quality lunar transport,” said IM President and CEO, Steve Altemus. “Launching Nova-C on a rocket with a proven record of reliability and outstanding value is an assurance to NASA and our commercial payload customers that IM is dedicated to sticking the landing in back-to-back Moon missions.”