NASA will launch the latest mission to the moon late on Tuesday, February 13 (or early on Wednesday, February 14, depending on where you live). As part of its Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program, Intuitive Machines will launch its first lunar lander, with the goal of delivering scientific payloads to the surface of the Moon.
NASA Live: official broadcast of the NASA TV media channel
The launch will be livestreamed by NASA and we have the details on how to watch it below.
What to expect from the launch
The launch will use a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and will take place from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Intuitive Machines’ lander is called Nova-C and will carry commercial payloads as well as NASA scientific experiments to the moon. Its goal is to land in an area near the moon’s south pole called Malapert A, a small crater next to the larger Malapert crater. This is near one of the landing sites being considered for NASA’s planned Artemis III crewed mission to the moon.
NASA payloads on board include an experiment on the plasma environment on the moon’s surface and a set of four cameras to take images of the lander’s engine plume as it descends to the surface. Commercial payloads include thermal materials testing and a camera.
The first commercial lunar landing attempt under the CLPS program, led by Astrobotic, failed to reach the moon and It burned up in Earth’s atmosphere, so all eyes are on this second launch to see if it will be more successful.
The launch will be broadcast live by NASA and available to view via NASA TV. There are several ways to view the channel, but the easiest is to go to NASA YouTube Channel or use the video embedded above. You can also use the NASA+ app, which is available for iOS, Android, and several other devices to watch the live stream.
Coverage of the launch begins at 12:15 a.m. ET on Wednesday, February 14 (9:15 p.m. PT on Tuesday, February 13). The launch itself is scheduled for shortly before 1 a.m. ET (or 10 p.m. PT), although NASA warns that coverage may change “based on real-time operational activities.” For the latest news, you can also check NASA Artemis Blog or his Account X (formerly Twitter).