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SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Will Launch Private Moon Lander in 2021

SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Will Launch Private Moon Lander in 2021

Mathias Sundin
Mathias Sundin

A private lunar lander now has a rocket ride for its first moon mission.

The robotic Nova-C lander, built by Houston-based Intuitive Machines, will launch atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on a NASA-sponsored flight in 2021, representatives of both companies announced today (Oct. 2). 

“We’re honored that Intuitive Machines selected Falcon 9, SpaceXโ€™s tried-and-true workhorse, for this pioneering mission to the moon,” SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said in a statement. “Our partnership with Intuitive Machines is a great example of two private companies working together with NASA to advance space exploration.”

Related: NASA’s Full Plate of Moon Missions Before Astronauts Can Go

In May of this year, NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program tapped Intuitive Machines and two other companies, Orbit Beyond and Astrobotic, to build landers to take agency payloads to the lunar surface. Intuitive Machines got $77 million, Astrobotic received $79.5 million, and…
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