SpaceX to launch Odysseus Moon lander for Intuitive Machines – TWIRL #151

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TWIRL logo in front of Odysseus lander

This Week in Rocket Launches we have a fair few missions coming up. The most interesting launch will be a Falcon 9 on Wednesday which will be carrying a Nova-C lander called Odysseus for the company Intuitive Machines. The lander will be aiming to land on the Moon with scientific payloads as part of a NASA programme.

Wednesday, 14 February

  • Who: SpaceX
  • What: Falcon 9
  • When: 5:57 p.m. UTC
  • Where: Florida, US
  • Why: SpaceX will be using a Falcon 9 to launch a Nova-C lander called Odysseus for Intuitive Machines. This mission is called IM-1 and will be heading to the Moon as part of NASA’s CLPS (Commercial Lunar Payload Services) programme. Odysseus will try to land on the Moon carrying several bits of equipment for various scientific experiments – it has a surface mission of just 14 days. To learn more, head over to NASA’s dedicated IM-1 page.


  • Who: SpaceX
  • What: Falcon 9
  • When: 10:30 p.m. UTC
  • Where: Florida, US
  • Why: SpaceX will be launching a Falcon 9 carrying an unknown payload for the US Space Force and Missile Defense Agency.

Thursday, 15 February

  • Who: JAXA
  • What: H3
  • When: 12:22 – 4:06 a.m. UTC
  • Where: Kagoshima, Japan
  • Why: This is the second test flight of the Mitsubishi H3 rocket and follows a failed first test flight. It will be launching the CE-SAT IE and the TIRSAT CubeSat into orbit. The CE-SAT 1E is an Earth observation satellite.

  • Who: Roscosmos
  • What: Soyuz 2.1a
  • When: 3:25 a.m. UTC
  • Where: Baikonur, Kazakhstan
  • Why: This mission will launch a Progress cargo delivery ship headed to the International Space Station, this will assure astronauts have everything they need to continue doing their work.

Saturday, 17 February

  • Who: ISRO
  • What: GSLV
  • When: 12:00 p.m. UTC
  • Where: Andhra Pradesh, India
  • Why: ISRO will be launching the INSAT 3DS geostationary weather satellite. It has a ten year life expectancy.

Recap

  • The first launch last week was a Falcon 9 carrying NASA’s PACE mission. The first stage of the Falcon 9 then performed a landing.

  • The final launch of the week was another Falcon 9. This time it was carrying Starlink satellites which beam internet to customers on Earth. The first stage of the rocket also performed a landing.

That’s all for this week, check back next time

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