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 the NASA partners.
Codex files are currently onboarded for Peregrine Mission 1 (PM1) to Lacus Mortis. Files are being prepared for Intuitive Machines Mission 1 (IM1) to the Vallis Schröteri region, with onboarding expected for June-July 2021. Finally, the Codex has reserved payload space with Astrobotic for a 2022-2023 mission, most likely the Griffin/VIPER mission to the lunar south pole (to be confirmed).
Astrobotic Peregrine Lunar Lander
The Peregrine Lunar Lander is a 4-legged vessel 1.9 m high and 2.5 m across, made of aluminum panels and mounting surfaces, with a total mass of 70 kg.
Propulsion is by 5 thrusters at the bottom of the lander, complemented by 4 sets of 3 attitude-control thrusters to maintain orientation. The lander is powered by solar cells at the top of the lander, with energy storage using lithium-ion batteries.
The lander can carry 90 kg of payload, and will carry both scientific payloads such as those from NASA, and commercial payloads including Lunar Codex files.
Peregrine is scheduled for launch via United Launch Alliance (ULA) Vulcan Centaur from Cape Canaveral, Florida in December 2021, landing in the region of Lacus Mortis on the Moon.
Intuitive Machines Nova-C Lunar Lander
The Nova-C Lander is a hexagonal cylinder on 6 legs, powered by solar panels generating 200 W on the surface. The lander is capable of operating for about 14 Earth days in sunlight.
Nova-C will land on the Moon in Vallis Schroteri in Oceanus Procellarum, within a chosen 200 meter landing site.
The lander can carry 100 kg of payload to the surface, and will include several NASA scientific payloads and other commercial cargo, including Lunar Codex files.
Nova-C is scheduled for launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a SpaceX Falcon 9, in December 2022, destination Vallis Schrasöteri, in the area of Oceanus Procellarum on the Moon.