Update for Feb. 14: SpaceX is now aiming to launch the IM-1 moon lander mission for Intuitive Machines no earlier than Thursday, Feb. 15, due to a liquid methane temperature issue during preparations to fuel the Odysseus lander. You can read our story and see the updated times for the mission below.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch a new private lunar lander to the moon for the company Intuitive Machines and NASA this week, and you can watch it live online in a series of free webcasts.
Intuitive Machines' first Nova-C lander mission, called IM-1, will to launch to the moon on a Falcon 9 rocket Feb. 14 with payloads for NASA and other customers. Liftoff is scheduled for 12:57 a.m. EST (0557 GMT) from NASA's Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. If all goes well, IM-1 will land on the moon on Feb. 22, NASA and Intuitive Machines have said.
SpaceX, Intuitive Machines and NASA will offer livestreams of the launch, with NASA also hosting two preflight press conferences that you'll be able to listen in on before liftoff. Read on for a rundown of when and how to watch SpaceX's IM-1 launch for Intuitive Machines live online.
Monday, Feb. 12: Prelaunch science teleconference
On Monday, Feb. 12, NASA will hold an audio-only teleconference to review the science experiments riding on Intuitive Machines' IM-1 mission. It will begin at 11 a.m. EST (1600 GMT) and will be streamed live on NASA TV. You can ask questions on social media using the #AskNASA tag.
IM-1 is a part of NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services program, and is carrying NASA experiments "focusing on plume-surface interactions, space weather/lunar surface interactions, radio astronomy, precision landing technologies, and a communication and navigation node for future autonomous navigation technologies," NASA wrote in a description.
Below is a look at who will be speaking during the press conference.
- Susan Lederer, CLPS project scientist, NASA’s Johnson Space Center;
- Farzin Amzajerdian, principal investigator, Navigation Doppler Lidar, NASA’s Langley Research Center;
- Tamara Statham, co-principal investigator, Lunar Node-1, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center;
- Daniel Cremons, deputy principal investigator, Laser Retro-Reflector Array, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center;
- Nat Gopalswamy, principal investigator, Radio Observations of the Lunar Surface Photoelectron Sheath, NASA Goddard;
- Michelle Munk, principal investigator, Stereo Camera for Lunar Plume-Surface Studies, NASA Langley;
- Lauren Ameen, deputy project manager, Radio Frequency Mass Gauge, NASA’s Glenn Research Center.
Tuesday, Feb. 13: Lunar delivery readiness teleconference
On Tuesday, Feb. 13, NASA, SpaceX and Intuitive Machines will hold a prelaunch press teleconference to review the launch readiness for the IM-1 moon lander and its Falcon 9 rocket.
The press conference will begin at 1:30 p.m. EST (1830 GMT) and will be streamed live on NASA TV, but it is an audio-only briefing so don't expect video.
Below is who to expect to hear from during the briefing.
- Joel Kearns, deputy associate administrator for Exploration, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters;
- Debra Needham, program scientist, Exploration Science Strategy and Integration Office, NASA Headquarters;
- Trent Martin, vice president, Space Systems, Intuitive Machines;
- William Gerstenmaier, vice president, Build and Flight Reliability, SpaceX;
- Arlena Moses, launch weather officer, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s 45th Weather Squadron.
Wednesday, Feb. 14: SpaceX launch of IM-1
While NASA was hoping for a Valentine's Day launch for the Intuitive Machine's IM-1 mission, with liftoff originally scheduled for 12:57 a.m. EST (0557 GMT), the mission was delayed at least one day due to fuel temperature issues during the liquid methane fueling of the IM-1 lander. Liftoff is not set for no earlier than Thursday, Feb. 15, at 1:05 a.m. EST (0605 GMT).
NASA's livestream of the IM-1 launch will begin shortly before liftoff at 12:20 a.m. EST (0520 GMT) and will be broadcast on NASA TV, NASA+ and the agency's other social media sites.
SpaceX will host its own livestream of the launch on the SpaceX X account (formerly Twitter).
Intuitive Machines will also host the launch livestream on its IM-1 mission site
You will also be able to watch the IM-1 launch live on Space.com on our homepage, the top of this page. However, the exact timing of SpaceX's IM-1 launch will depend on weather, launch vehicle and other conditions.
"Coverage is subject to change based on real-time operational activities," NASA cautioned in a statement. The agency will provide updates on the mission via its Artemis NASA blog.
If you can't watch SpaceX's launch of IM-1 in person, NASA is also offering a "Virtual Guest" option to follow it remotely. You can sign up to be a virtual guest for the launch, receive mission updates and details and more via the agency's Virtual Guest Program website. Registration for the IM-1 mission is under way at its mission site.
Editor's note: This story was update at 12:30 am ET on Feb. 14 to include the new launch date and time due to a SpaceX delay.
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Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of Space.com and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at Space.com and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.