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NASA selects Intuitive Machines to deliver lunar ice drill in 2022

(16 October 2020 - Intuitive Machines) NASA has selected Intuitive Machines to deliver the Polar Resources Ice Mining Experiment (PRIME-1) drill, combined with a mass spectrometer, to the Moon by December 2022.

The ice drilling mission is the Houston-based company’s second Moon contract award under NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative.

nasa 1

(courtesy: Intuitive Machines)

“Laying the foundation to return humans to the Moon is an incredible honor and even greater challenge,” said Steve Altemus, President and CEO of Intuitive Machines. “At Intuitive Machines, we’re hungry for the pursuit of these audacious missions that will redefine what a small business is capable of.”

Intuitive Machines, a leading provider and supplier of space products and services, will deliver the approximately 88-pound payload to the Moon’s South Pole as a precursor to the TRIDENT drill and the MSOLO that will fly on VIPER, a mobile robot that will search for water and ice at the Moon’s South Pole.

PRIME-1 will drill into the lunar surface, harvest and bring ice to the Moon’s surface, and use a mass spectrometer to measure

how much is lost to sublimination as it turns from solid into vapor in a vacuum. The data from the PRIME-1 mission will help scientists understand how VIPER can search for water at the Moon’s pole, and how much water may be available to use as NASA plans to establish a sustainable human presence on the Moon by the end of the decade.

“Establishing a sustainable human presence on the Moon requires the success of the CLPS initiative,” said Altemus. “We have a tremendous responsibility to NASA and opportunity to animate humankind’s pursuit of knowledge through exploration.”

About Intuitive Machines

Intuitive Machines is a premier provider and supplier of space products and services that enable sustained robotic and human exploration to the Moon, Mars and beyond. We drive markets with competitive world-class offerings synonymous with innovation, high quality, and precision. Whether leveraging state-of-the-art engineering tools and practices or integrating research and advanced technologies, our solutions are insightful and have a positive impact on the world.