SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket has been selected by Intuitive Machines to deploy a lunar lander that will carry an ice drilling instrument and a mass spectrometer as part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services program.
Intuitive Machines said Wednesday the IM-2 Polar Mission, which the space agency expects to launch sometime in 2022, will use the Nova-C lander and will be the second for the company under the CLPS initiative.
The Houston-based autonomous technology maker also chose the Falcon 9 rocket for the company's initial payload delivery mission later this year.
NASA awarded Intuitive Machines a $47M contract in October 2020 to land the Polar Resources Ice Mining Experiment on the lunar surface.
To date, the agency has awarded five CLPS contracts to send payloads to the moon over the next three years.