NASA'S RETURN TO THE MOON
As part of its Artemis program, the U.S.'s National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) has selected several commercial Moon landing partners whose goal is to deliver science and technology payloads under its Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program.
The Lunar Codex leverages this as a client to third-party commercial payload service providers to these NASA partners. Codex files are currently on time capsules on two missions - Peregrine Mission 1 (PM1) to Lacus Mortis, and Intuitive Machines Mission 1 (IM1) to the Vallis Schroteri region in the lunar south pole.
Astrobotic Peregrine Lunar Lander
Astrobotic's Peregrine Lunar Lander is a four-legged vessel standing about 1.9 m high and roughly 2.5 m across, made of aluminum isogrid shear panels and aluminum honeycomb mounting surfaces, for a total mass of approximately 770 kg.
Its propulsion system consists of five thrusters mounted at the bottom of the lander, complemented by four sets of three attitude-control thrusters to maintain orientation, as monitored by Sun and star trackers, inertial measurement, Doppler radio, and LIDAR. The lander is powered by triple-junction solar cells at the top of the lander, with energy storage using lithium-ion batteries.
The lander has a payload mass capacity of 90 kg, and will carry both scientific payloads such as those from NASA, and commercial payloads including Codex files.
Peregrine is scheduled for launch via United Launch Alliance (ULA) Vulcan Centaur from Cape Canaveral, Florida in the fourth quarter of 2021, landing in the region of Lacus Mortis on the Moon.
Intuitive Machines Nova-C Lunar Lander
Intuitive Machines' Nova-C Lander is a hexagonal cylinder on 6 landing legs, powered by solar panels generating 200 W on the surface. The lander is capable of operating for about 14 Earth days in sunlight. Propulsion and landing use liquid methane as fuel and liquid oxygen as an oxidizer.
The Nova-C lander will land on the Moon in Vallis Schroteri in Oceanus Procellarum, within a chosen 200 meter landing site in the vicinity of the lunar south pole. The lander has the capacity to carry 100 kg of payload to the surface, and will include several NASA scientific payloads as well as other commercial cargo, including Codex files.
Nova-C is scheduled for launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a SpaceX Falcon 9, in November 2021, destination Vallis Schrasöteri, in the area of Oceanus Procellarum on the Moon.