The American company Intuitive Machines, was awarded a contract by NASA to deliver cargo to the moon, announced the date and place of landing Nova-C. it is Planned that the lander will be launched in October 2021, and six days later he landed in ocean of Storms, or rather near Schroter’s valley, near the intended landing site canceled the mission, “Apollo 18”.
NASA plans in the coming years to focus a significant portion of its resources on the exploration of the moon with unmanned and manned the station Gateway with the lander. In the first stage will go to the moon small landers and scientific instruments. By analogy with the program of support of private spacecraft, flying to the ISS, NASA in 2018, announced the program CLPS (Commercial Lunar Payload Services) for the development of private lunar exploration. Then, the Agency chose three companies to deliver cargo to the surface, which soon left only two: Intuitive Machines and Astrobotic Technology.
Intuitive Machines developed for planting on the lunar surface, the apparatus Nova-C. It has a weight 1.5 tons and a payload of 100 kilograms. For planting in the apparatus using a single liquid-propellant rocket engine operating on methane and oxygen. After landing, he can take off and move to another area of interest to researchers.
Initially, the company had to send your camera to the moon in July 2021, but the schedule had to be moved because the other party CLPS Deep Space Systems was trying to dispute the results of the contract Intuitive Machines. In the end the mission had to be moved in the fall, tentatively on October 11. The device will show in a space Falcon 9 rocket.
The company’s specialists have chosen to plant the area near Schroter’s valley. It is a long depression in the surface, starting from the crater or round grooves, which in turn is located near a sharp rise. Scientists suggest that the valley is a collapsed lava tube formed by volcanic flow that came out of this deepening.