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]

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

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 also

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.