Author Topic: SpaceX F9 : Intuitive Machines IM-1 : KSC LC-39A : 15 Feb 2024 (06:05 UTC)  (Read 453861 times)

Offline zubenelgenubi

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NextSpaceflight (Updated October 19th/20th)
Launch NET December 2023
https://nextspaceflight.com/launches/details/1915

USSF-52 is still listed for November 30th, so it sounds like USSF-52 will take priority over IM-1

The next launch window start and end would be 29.5 days later (one syndonic period)?  Mid December.

Six day launch window?

Launch would require reconfiguring LC-39A GSE from Falcon Heavy to "single-stick."  What is the current amount of time required?

Edit October 24: Launch slightly before NET December 24 for Peregrine?
« Last Edit: 10/24/2023 11:17 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1717911668485972436

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Still awaiting official word from the company about the launch schedule, but a launch in the mid-November launch now appears unlikely.

twitter.com/int_machines/status/1717904640363122969

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Nova-C is waiting patiently to go to the Moon
💥 Height - 4.3m
💥 Hull Diameter - 1.5m
💥 Landing Gear Diameter - 4.6m
💥 Vehicle Weight - 675kg
💥 Payload Capacity - 130kg

Online DanClemmensen

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Still awaiting official word from the company about the launch schedule, but a launch in the mid-November launch now appears unlikely.
Arrgh. Windows for lunar landing mission are usually about 29.5 Earth days apart, and are driven by the date of lunar sunrise at the landing site. You compute the launch date by subtracting the transit time from the landing date.

Lunar sunrise depends on lunar longitude, mostly, but perhaps at the high-latitude IM-1 site, with its low Sun angle, it might also depend on the topology?

The IM-1 site is somewhere near Malapert crater, which (because of the high -84.9° latitude) spans a lot of longitude, centered at about +12.9°. Can they select alternate landing sites within this area? if so, they have a few more landing dates and therefore  more launch opportunities.

By contrast, Peregrine will land near the Gruithuisen domes, near (36.56°, -40.72°), and lunar sunrise is at a fairly invariant time, so that mission has a narrower window each month.

The landing sites differ by about 52° longitude, so logically lunar sunrise will differ by about (52/360)*29.5 = 4.25 earth days. No, I do not know which sunrise is earlier because I get confused when I try to visualize this.

So, if IM-1 misses its November window, then what is it's December window? Which lander will launch first?
« Last Edit: 10/27/2023 04:39 pm by DanClemmensen »

Offline ccdengr

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Intuitive's tweet suggests that they are ready to go and are waiting for something else to happen.  Who/what are they waiting for?  NASA, SpaceX, something else?

Offline GewoonLukas_

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Intuitive's tweet suggests that they are ready to go and are waiting for something else to happen.  Who/what are they waiting for?  NASA, SpaceX, something else?

They are waiting for the USSF-52 mission, which is scheduled to launch No Earlier Then November 30th. Because it'll be a Falcon Heavy launch they have to use LC-39A. Nova-C also needs to launch from LC-39A, and since USSF-52 is taking priority due to it being a national security mission, Nova-C needs to wait for it's back-up launch window in December.
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Offline ccdengr

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They are waiting for the USSF-52 mission...
OK, thanks.  But https://spacenews.com/first-intuitive-machines-lunar-lander-ready-for-launch/ says the IM-1 launch period is six days opening 16 Nov.  I don't know how long it takes to turn 39A around for FH after an F9 launch but that gives SpaceX at least a week. :)

Backup launch period is in "mid-December".

Offline GewoonLukas_

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They are waiting for the USSF-52 mission...
I don't know how long it takes to turn 39A around for FH after an F9 launch but that gives SpaceX at least a week. :)

What we've seen from the recent Falcon Heavy launches is that it takes at least 3 to 4 weeks.
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Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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12 January 2024:

https://investors.intuitivemachines.com/news-releases/news-release-details/intuitive-machines-sets-january-2024-historic-us-lunar-mission/

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Intuitive Machines Sets January 2024 for Historic U.S. Lunar Mission
October 27, 2023 at 4:39 PM EDT

HOUSTON, Oct. 27, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Intuitive Machines, Inc. (Nasdaq: LUNR, LUNRW) (“Intuitive Machines”) (“Company”), a leading space exploration, infrastructure, and services company, has announced that in coordination with SpaceX, liftoff of the IM-1 lunar mission is now targeted for a multi-day launch window which opens January 12, 2024.

“As previously announced, Intuitive Machines completed its lunar lander in September, and the entire company is looking forward to our upcoming launch,” said Steve Altemus, Co-Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer. “There are inherent challenges of lunar missions; schedule changes and mission adjustments are a natural consequence of pioneering lunar exploration. Receiving a launch window and the required approvals to fly is a remarkable achievement, and the schedule adjustment is a small price to pay for making history.”

The Intuitive Machines IM-1 mission will be the Company’s first attempted lunar landing as part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (“CLPS”) initiative, a key part of NASA’s Artemis lunar exploration efforts. The science and technology payloads sent to the Moon’s surface as part of CLPS intend to lay the foundation for human missions and a sustainable human presence on the lunar surface.

In case of unfavorable launch conditions, such as poor weather, backup opportunities will be determined based on the lunar blackout window and other factors.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://science.nasa.gov/science-research/science-enabling-technology/deploying-and-demonstrating-navigation-aids-on-the-lunar-surface/

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Deploying and Demonstrating Navigation Aids on the Lunar Surface

Credits: NASA

NASA Science Editorial Team
NOV 07, 2023
ARTICLE

CONTENTS:
PROJECT
SNAPSHOT
PROJECT LEAD
SPONSORING ORGANIZATION

PROJECT
Lunar Node-1 (LN-1)

SNAPSHOT
NASA is developing lunar navigation beacons to be deployed on spacecraft or the lunar surface to aid in localization and help future space vehicles determine position, velocity, and time to high accuracy.

“Are we there yet?” is a constant question on any journey. As humanity expands its presence on, near, and around the Moon, new systems are needed to provide navigation signals similar those provided by the Global Positioning System (GPS) on Earth. To enable this capability, NASA is supporting research on a range of sensors, architectures, and techniques for providing reference signals to help spacecraft and humans find their way.

Lunar Node 1 (LN-1) is an S-band navigation beacon for lunar applications that was recently designed and built at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). As part of NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative, this beacon is scheduled to be delivered to the Moon's surface on Intuitive Machine's NOVA-C lunar lander on the IM-1 mission in early 2024.

During this mission, LN-1’s goal will be to demonstrate navigation technologies that can support local surface and orbital operations around the Moon, enabling autonomy and decreasing dependence on heavily utilized Earth-based communication assets like NASA’s Deep Space Network demonstrate these capabilities, LN-1’s design leverages CubeSat components as well as the Multi-spacecraft Autonomous Positioning System (MAPS) algorithms, which enable autonomous spacecraft positioning using navigation measurements. In addition to demonstrating the MAPS algorithms, LN-1’s radio will also be used to conduct pseudo-noise (PN)-based, one-way, non-coherent ranging and Doppler tracking to provide alternate approaches and comparisons for navigation performance. To provide a real-time solution similar to GPS, but in the lunar environment, multiple references must be in view of users at the same time. As this future lunar communication network is deployed, LN-1 hardware and capabilities could be part of a much larger infrastructure.

Over the course of the transit to the Moon from Earth and during its the nominal lunar surface operations, LN-1 will broadcast its state and timing information back to Earth. Once it lands on the lunar surface, the payload will enter into a 24/7 operational period, and will also provide a navigation reference signal back to Earth.  To validate LN-1 capabilities, DSN ground stations will be used to capture measurements and measure performance. Upon reception of the LN-1 data, high-accuracy packet reception timestamps will be used (along with atmospheric data for induced delays) to assess a ranging observation. This data will be captured during multiple passes to compute a navigation state of the payload during the mission. The LN-1 team is also partnering with other NASA researchers to collect Very Long Baseline Interferometry observations of the navigation signals as an independent truth reference.

The compact size of the LN-1 payload can be seen in the LN-1 CAD models in the figures below. The primary LN-1 structure is approximately 175x220x300 cm in volume with a mass of approximately 2.8 kg. The dominating feature of the design is the large top surface, which is a radiator. The hot environment on the lunar surface, combined with the heat generated by the LN-1 radio while transmitting, require the LN-1 design to incorporate a radiator to dissipate heat during operation so that a clean interface with the host vehicle will be maintained. While the LN-1 payload is not designed to survive the lunar night, it uses a modular design that could be integrated into a variety of host vehicles; if adequate power generation/storage were provided, the design may be able to offer long-term operation at any lunar landing site.

After completion and delivery of the LN-1 payload, testing with the planned operational ground stations began. This testing included RF compatibility testing between the DSN and the LN-1 payload as well as tests of the data flows between the DSN and MSFC's Huntsville Operations Support Center. Performed at the DSN's Development and Test Facility (DTF)-21 facility in early 2021, these tests successfully verified RF compatibility between DSN and the LN-1 payload. Specifically, the tests showed that the DSN can receive S-band telecommunication signals in all the planned operational modes required to process telemetry and ranging data from LN-1.

In the future, this new technology and the MAPS algorithms demonstrated by LN-1 could enable autonomous navigation for lunar assets. As NASA invests in communication and navigation infrastructure around, near, and on the Moon, the LN-1 team continues to develop future iterations of the navigation beacon to support broad lunar surface coverage. The team is currently maturing the capabilities of the payload in preparation for continued laboratory assessments and field demonstrations using updated navigation signals as defined for LunaNet. Three key capabilities will be the focus of the development of a follow-on payload to LN-1:

Demonstration of inter-spacecraft navigation, providing support to operational vehicles in lunar orbit by acting as a fixed ground reference

The capability to survive the lunar night onboard the payload to demonstrate technologies needed for a long-term navigation beacon

Maturation of signal to match the Augmented Forward Signal standard as defined in the LunaNet Interoperability Specification for integration, operation, and compatibility with other planned NASA assets and infrastructure

PROJECT LEAD
Dr. Evan Anzalone and Tamara Statham, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC)

SPONSORING ORGANIZATION
NASA-Provided Lunar Payloads Program

Captions:

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The Lunar Node-1 payload in the test chamber at the Deep Space Network’s  Development and Test Facility (DTF)-21 radio frequency (RF) compatibility testing lab. The large block seen in the image is the antenna hat used to collect RF energy for ground testing and integration.

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The Lunar Node-1 flight payload installed on the Intuitive Machines NOVA-C lander for the IM-1 mission. The payload is mounted near the top deck of the vehicle to provide a clear field of view for its antenna back to Earth.
Image Credit: Intuitive Machines/Nick Rios

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Concept of Operations. This diagram shows the dual data paths being exercised by the LN-1 payload. The primary operational command and data handling is done through a hardwire connection between the payload and the host lander. Using its onboard transmitter, LN-1 will transmit its navigation signals independently, providing the lander’s current time and state information via both a reference one-way PN solution as well as the transmission of MAPS packets.

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Interior views of LN-1. These images provide a look inside the payload showing the primary components: radiator hat, antenna mount adapter, SWIFT SL-X transmitter, FPGA-based controller board, and power conditioning electronics.

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LN-1 successfully passed vibration, electromagnetic interference testing, and thermal vacuum testing at Marshall Space Flight Center in 2020 and 2021.

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LN-1 Principal Investigator, Evan Anzalone, performing RF Compatibility Testing at DTF-21. This testing was important to characterize the stability of the one-way ranging tone and demonstrate integration with the DSN ground network for flight operations. The LN-1 team is currently setting up the flight spare with a flight-matching radio and is preparing to conduct another round of testing to capture long-term stability data with ground receivers to demonstrate improved capability with improved clocks and signal generation algorithms.

Offline Kiwi53

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I'm guessing that
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The primary LN-1 structure is approximately 175x220x300 cm in volume
should actually be
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The primary LN-1 structure is approximately 175x220x300 mm in volume
Or it's actually cm and the whole 11½ cubic metre box only weighs 2.8kg, then there's s whole lot of empty in there!

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Launch campaign timing; my bolds:
SFN Private astronaut mission likely first to use SpaceX’s new crew access tower, November 6, by Will Robinson-Smith
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Houston-based Axiom Space was planning to see its third commercial flight to the space station fly from pad 39A within a few days of the IM-1 launch and NASA wants it to go on schedule to avoid disrupting a busy space station traffic plan in early 2024. The IM-1 mission, which only has one, short launch window a month, could face long delays if it gets bumped out of its January window.

Also SFN Intuitive Machines targets launch to the Moon in mid-January, October 27, by Will Robinson-Smith
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Trent Martin, the Vice President of Lunar Access at Intuitive Machines:
The special accommodations are because the IM-1 lander uses a propellant mix of liquid oxygen and liquid methane and needs to be fueled at the launch pad in the run-up to launch.

But to do that, they need to have access to the payload, which is where the crew and cargo access tower comes into play. Another such tower is in the works at SLC-40, but it won’t be fully operational in time for this mission.

We actually do a wet dress rehearsal several days before the launch. So we will actually do a full fuel of our vehicle to ensure we have the timeline down," Martin said. “We want to fuel as late as possible. SpaceX has been very accommodating and they’re providing us a service that gives us liquid oxygen, liquid methane. They’ll fill up until the very last minute, so that we’re as full as possible and we have the highest chance of success at landing on the Moon.”
« Last Edit: 11/07/2023 09:45 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1724540307868364802

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Slides from a presentation from NASA's Joel Kearns show a Jan. 19 or 21 landing for the IM-1 lunar lander assuming a launch Jan. 12-16, and a Jan. 25 landing for Peregrine if it launches Dec. 24-26. And that Peregrine launch will be in the middle of the night at the Cape…

Offline GewoonLukas_

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NextSpaceflight (Updated November 30th)
First Stage LZ-1 Landing (previously listed ASDS)
https://nextspaceflight.com/launches/details/1915
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Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/int_machines/status/1731683335682789443

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Intuitive Machines has delivered its IM-1 mission Nova-C lunar lander to Cape Canaveral, Florida.

https://www.intuitivemachines.com/post/intuitive-machines-nova-c-lunar-lander-arrives-in-cape-canaveral-florida

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Intuitive Machines Nova-C Lunar Lander Arrives in Cape Canaveral, Florida

Intuitive Machines, Inc. (Nasdaq: LUNR, LUNRW) (“Intuitive Machines”) (“Company”), a leading space exploration, infrastructure, and services company, has announced the successful delivery of its IM-1 mission Nova-C lunar lander to Cape Canaveral, Florida.

“Reaching this tremendous milestone has built a four-year foundation of technical excellence earned through challenges, failures, and triumph; I’m so proud of this team leading the United States back to the Moon,” said Intuitive Machines CEO Steve Altemus. “The opportunity to deliver the first of three manifested lunar landers with NASA and commercial payloads is an incredible moment for the entire commercial aerospace industry, and I’m looking forward to this launch as well as our subsequent missions in the near future.”

In coordination with SpaceX, the liftoff of the IM-1 lunar mission is targeted for a multi-day launch window that opens no earlier than January 12, 2024. In case of unfavorable launch conditions, such as poor weather, backup opportunities will be determined based on the lunar blackout window and other factors.

The Company’s IM-1 mission will be operated from Intuitive Machines’ Nova Control Center in Houston, Texas. There, flight controllers will monitor spacecraft health, send commands, and receive data during the lander’s approximate six-and-a-half-day journey to the lunar surface using the Company’s commercially available Lunar Data Network. After landing, Intuitive Machines and its customers expect Nova-C to operate in the lunar south pole region for nearly two weeks.

As previously announced, Intuitive Machines completed the IM-1 lunar lander in September at the Company’s Lunar Production and Operations Center located at the Houston Spaceport. In late November, the lander was loaded into a custom-designed air ride ground transport system and delivered to Cape Canaveral, Florida.

IM-1 will be the Company’s first of three manifested attempted lunar landings as part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (“CLPS”) initiative, a key part of NASA’s Artemis lunar exploration efforts. The science and technology payloads sent to the Moon’s surface as part of CLPS intend to lay the foundation for a sustainable human presence on the lunar surface and the commercial development of the Moon.
« Last Edit: 12/04/2023 02:33 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline butters

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Do we know why this mission is pinned to LC-39A? Technical reasons or PR desire to use the historic/future moon pad?

Axiom-3 could be contending for the same launch slot if the SLC-40 crew infrastructure is not ready/blessed in time, and the ISS visiting vehicle schedule is less forgiving than the lunar launch opportunities for IM-1.

Offline Eagandale4114

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Do we know why this mission is pinned to LC-39A? Technical reasons or PR desire to use the historic/future moon pad?

Axiom-3 could be contending for the same launch slot if the SLC-40 crew infrastructure is not ready/blessed in time, and the ISS visiting vehicle schedule is less forgiving than the lunar launch opportunities for IM-1.

This needs Methane service at the pad which was only added here.

Online Galactic Penguin SST

Do we know why this mission is pinned to LC-39A? Technical reasons or PR desire to use the historic/future moon pad?

Axiom-3 could be contending for the same launch slot if the SLC-40 crew infrastructure is not ready/blessed in time, and the ISS visiting vehicle schedule is less forgiving than the lunar launch opportunities for IM-1.

They need to replenish the methane/LOX fuel on the lander on the pad up till just before launch, and that’s apparently only available from 39A.
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Online gongora

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DOGE-1 actually got its FCC permit

Online gongora

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A couple snips from IM-1 FCC documentation

Offline GewoonLukas_

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The successful delivery of our IM-1 mission Nova-C lunar lander to Cape Canaveral, Florida, is a tremendous milestone built on a four-year foundation of technical excellence earned through challenges, failures, and triumphs.

In coordination with @SpaceX, the liftoff of the IM-1 lunar mission is targeted for a multi-day launch window that opens no earlier than January 12, 2024.

https://twitter.com/Int_Machines/status/1732811164248150239
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