Nova-C Odysseus Lander: NASA Nova-C Mission Launched, When and Where to Watch

SpaceX has rescheduled the launch of the IM-1 moon lander mission for Intuitive Machines to no earlier than Feb. 15, due to issues with the temperature of liquid methane during the fueling process for the Odysseus lander. For further details on this mission and the updated launch schedule, continue reading below.

Nova-C Odysseus Lander: NASA Nova-C Mission Launched, When and Where to Watch
Nova-C Odysseus Lander: NASA Nova-C Mission Launched, When and Where to Watch

On Feb. 15, SpaceX is set to send a lunar lander developed by Intuitive Machines to the moon. Information on the launch location and timing is available for those interested.

Dubbed the IM-1 mission, this endeavor will see the deployment of Intuitive Machines’ inaugural Nova-C spacecraft to the moon. The launch is planned from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, utilizing a Falcon 9 rocket for a pre-dawn departure at 1:05 a.m. EST (0605 GMT).

Should the mission proceed without any setbacks, the Nova-C lander—christened Odysseus by Intuitive Machines—is slated to touch down on the lunar surface on Feb. 22. It aims to transport experiments for NASA and various commercial entities as part of a $118 million agreement with NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services program. Here are the details on how and when you can watch the launch.

Scheduled Launch Time for SpaceX’s Odysseus Lander

SpaceX, in partnership with Intuitive Machines, has set the launch of the Odysseus lander for the early hours of Thursday, February 15. This significant event is slated to occur at Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, with a designated liftoff time of 1:05 a.m. EST (0605 GMT).

Launch Window and Mission Delay

The IM-1 mission launch by SpaceX is limited to a precise three-day timeframe beginning on February 14, aiming to achieve a lunar landing by February 22, as outlined by representatives from NASA and Intuitive Machines. Originally planned for January, the mission faced delays and was rescheduled to this week due to adverse weather conditions affecting SpaceX’s launch schedule.

Challenges Leading to Launch Postponement

An initial attempt to launch the IM-1 mission on February 14 was called off. This decision was made after detecting temperatures of the methane fuel that were not within the desired range, just before starting the fuel loading procedure for the Odysseus lunar lander, as per SpaceX’s announcement.

Watch SpaceX’s IM-1 Moon Lander Launch Online

Is it possible to stream the SpaceX IM-1 moon lander launch? Absolutely. You can stream the SpaceX IM-1 mission, a collaborative effort between Intuitive Machines and NASA, via multiple online livestreams at no cost. Our comprehensive guide details how to access the live broadcast of SpaceX’s IM-1 moon lander launch.

NASA is set to stream the event starting at 12:20 a.m. EST (0520 GMT) on various platforms, including NASA TV, the NASA+ streaming service, and its official website.

In addition, SpaceX will host a launch webcast on its X platform (previously known as Twitter), commencing at least 45 minutes before the scheduled launch.

Intuitive Machines will also stream NASA’s webcast on its dedicated IM-1 mission website concurrently with the launch.

Furthermore, Space.com will offer a simulcast of the NASA webcast on its homepage, at the top of this page, and possibly on its YouTube channel.

The webcast will feature the last moments of SpaceX’s prelaunch activities for the Falcon 9 rocket, including the final fueling process. Approximately eight minutes post-launch, the Falcon 9’s first stage will make its way back to Earth, landing at SpaceX’s Landing Zone 1 located at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. This landing event will be included in the webcast. The mission’s Falcon 9 first stage is embarking on its 18th flight for the IM-1 mission.

Duration of the IM-1 Odysseus Moon Mission

The IM-1 Odysseus mission, conducted by Intuitive Machines, involves a 16-day journey to the Moon, aiming to achieve the first private lunar landing and the first U.S. landing since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. The mission includes a nine-day voyage to the Moon and a seven-day exploration on its surface, targeting the Malapert A crater near the lunar south pole. The mission is scheduled to conclude with the onset of the lunar night, spanning two weeks.

Launch Schedule and Live Coverage

The launch, potentially carried out by SpaceX, is planned for a nine-day journey to the Moon, concluding with a seven-day surface operation. The exact duration of live coverage for the IM-1 mission post-launch remains uncertain, with expectations of broadcasting through the landing phase, eight minutes post-liftoff, and possibly extending to spacecraft separation.

Contingency Plans for Launch Delays

Should SpaceX face delays launching on February 15, alternative launch dates within the same week include February 14 and 16. This flexibility aims to maintain the February 22 moon landing target, despite potential postponements. Additionally, a March launch window exists, offering another three-day opportunity for the mission. The scheduling also considers NASA’s Crew-8 mission, which could influence the IM-1 launch timeline.

Impact on NASA’s Crew-8 Mission

The Crew-8 mission, scheduled for a February 22 launch, may adjust based on the IM-1 mission’s progress. This coordination reflects the integrated planning between SpaceX, NASA, and Intuitive Machines to optimize launch windows and mission objectives.

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