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Nova-C is a lunar lander designed by the private company Intuitive Machines to deliver small commercial payloads to the surface of the Moon.

DesignerIntuitive Machines
Country of originUS
ApplicationsLunar payloads delivery
Spacecraft typeLander
Dry mass1,500 kg (3,300 lb) [1]
Payload capacity85 kg (187 lb) [1]
DimensionsHeight: 3 m
Diameter: 1 m [1]
Power200 W [2]
Statusin development
First launchProposed: 2021 [3][2]
Related spacecraft
Derived fromProject Morpheus.[2]

Intuitive Machines was one of the 9 contractor companies selected by NASA in November 2018,[4] and this is the lander that is being proposed as part of the new NASA program called Commercial Lunar Payload Services[1][5] and it may be launched on a SpaceX rocket[1] in 2021.[3][2] NASA anticipates making an award in May 2019.[4]


Nova-C lunar lander was designed by Intuitive Machines, and it inherits technology developed by NASA's Project Morpheus.[2] It features a spacecraft propellant system that uses methane and oxygen, and an autonomous landing and hazard detection technology. After landing, the lander is capable of relocating by performing a vertical takeoff, cruise, and vertical landing.[2] Methane and oxygen could also be potentially manufactured on the Moon and Mars.[6][7] (See: In-situ resource utilization.) Nova-C is capable of 24/7 data coverage for its client payload, and can hold a payload of at least 85 kg.[1] The Nova-C lander design provides a technology platform that scales to mid and large lander classes, capable of accommodating larger payloads.[8]

Nova-C is proposed to NASA's CLPS as the first lander of this program, that is focused on the exploration and use of natural resources of the Moon.[8]

See alsoEdit

Current lunar lander programs


  1. ^ a b c d e f Houston company among 9 tapped to build moon landers. Alex Stuckey, The Houston Chronicle. 30 November 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Nova-C lunar lander. Intuitive Machines. Accessed on 1 December 2018.
  3. ^ a b Intuitive Machines headed to the moon in 2021. Yahoo Finance. 29 November 2018.
  4. ^ a b "NASA Announces New Partnerships for Commercial Lunar Payload Delivery Services". NASA.GOV. NASA. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  5. ^ NASA picks Houston company, 8 others for $2.6B moon program. Greg Avery and Olivia Pulsinelli, Biz Journal. 30 November 2018.
  6. ^ "Innovative Partnership Tests Fuels of the Future". NASA. October 13, 2009. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  7. ^ Nasa's new Mars landing craft Morpheus bursts into flames on take-off. The Telegraph 10 August 2012.
  8. ^ a b Intuitive Machines Headed To The Moon In 2021. Space Mining News. 30 November 2021.