NASA Awards Lunar Terrain Vehicle Contract to Intuitive Machines’ Moon RACER Team

4th Apr 2024
NASA Awards Lunar Terrain Vehicle Contract to Intuitive Machines’ Moon RACER Team

NASA has awarded Intuitive Machines $30 million as a prime contractor to complete a Lunar Terrain Vehicle Services Feasibility Assessment. This contract is a part of the Artemis Campaign.

Intuitive Machines To Plan LTV’s Deployment On The Moon

According to the contract, the company’s global team will create a feasibility roadmap to develop and deploy a Lunar Terrain Vehicle (“LTV”) on the Moon using Intuitive Machines’ Nova-D cargo-class lunar lander. The initial phase award signifies Intuitive Machines’ initiation into human spaceflight operations as part of NASA’s $4.6 billion LTV Services project.

The Lunar Terrain Vehicle Services play a crucial role in NASA’s Artemis campaign. It is set to facilitate humans’ return to the lunar surface.

“This procurement strategically aligns with the Company’s flight-proven capability to deliver payloads to the surface of the Moon under the agency’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative, further solidifying our position as a proven commercial contractor in lunar exploration,” says Steve Altemus, Intuitive Machines CEO.

Intuitive Machines’ Moon Racer Team

The Intuitive Machines say that the Moon RACER team has the most comprehensive capabilities for designing and deploying a lunar terrain vehicle that fulfils NASA’s criteria. 

“Our global team is on a path to providing NASA with essential lunar infrastructure services in a project that would allow the Company to retain ownership of the vehicle for commercial use during periods of non-NASA activity over approximately ten years of lunar surface activity,” Altemus adds.

Intuitive Machines’ Further Lunar Ambitions

As the prime contractor, Intuitive Machines plans to leverage its experience as the only U.S. commercial company delivering scientific and technological data from the lunar surface. The company intends to lead in systems integration, spacecraft design, energy management, avionics, autonomous navigation, sensors, controls, mission planning, operations, and training alongside the capabilities of its teammates.

What Is NASA’s LTV Servies Project?

NASA’s LTV Services project contract costs over $4 billion and has two phases with multiple potential awardees. Intuitive Machines plans to bid on phase two after completing phase one feasibility assessment award. The phase two involves developing, delivering, and operating the LTV on the Moon. As Intuitive Machines proves its capability and reliability in lunar operations, the focus of the award will be on supporting both NASA’s Artemis campaign and commercial interests with infrastructure.

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