SpaceX Clears Machines to Launch Odysseus Moon Lander on Valentine's Day

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February 14th is said to be Valentine's Day as Intuitive Machines and SpaceX set the launch date for the first private lunar landing mission. The Odysseus moon lander will take a direct route to the Moon's south pole, unlike ISRO's Chandrayaan-3 mission. The mission was named the IM-1 Moon Mission, the main objective of which was to successfully land on the surface of the Moon. If successful, this mission will be the first private mission to land on the moon. Learn more about the mission and the Odysseus Moon Lander.

Natural Machines and the SpaceX IM-1 Moon Mission reports that the IM-1 lunar mission is expected to launch on February 14 at 12:57 am EST from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The launch will be carried aboard SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket, carrying Intuitive Machine's robotic Nova-C lander, Odysseus. The moon lander is targeting February 22, 2024 as the landing date if all goes according to plan. President and CEO of Intuitive Machines said, “As we prepare to launch our IM-1 mission to the Moon, we take with us the collective spirit of dedication and hard work of everyone on our team.”

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According to reports, the mission will have a three-day launch window on February 14, 15 and 16 this month due to the limited period of sunlight in the Moon's south polar region. According to SpaceX, if the launch of the IM-1 moon mission is not successful within a three-day window, they will aim for a March launch.

About Odysseus' Moon Lander

Odysseus' moon lander carried 12 main payloads, including six instruments from NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS). Additionally, the lander will carry six commercial payloads. As TechCrunch reports, NASA is investing about $118 million on intuitive machines to take its payload to the Moon's south pole. The Odysseus Moon Lander is expected to operate on the Moon for 7 days.

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