AAC Clyde Space wins USD 0.85 m subsystems order from Intuitive Machines for Moon mission
AAC Clyde Space, a leading space solution company, has received a USD 0.85 m (approx. SEK 8.8 m) order on subsystems for the IM-3 mission to the Moon led by the US company Intuitive Machines. The order is the third received by AAC Clyde Space for the US company's lunar landing missions.
AAC Clyde Space will deliver its Starbuck power system and batteries to the mission. The Starbuck is AAC Clyde Space's most powerful and efficient power system for advanced space missions.
Through its modular design, it is easy to scale and integrate on different missions stretching from lunar exploration and scientific missions to commercial constellations. Delivery is scheduled to take place in the fourth quarter of 2023 ahead of the mission's launch in 2024.
The IM-3 mission is destined for the Reiner Gamma region, one of the Moon's most distinctive and enigmatic natural features. Known as a lunar swirl, Reiner Gamma is on the western edge of the Moon, as seen from Earth, and is one of the most visible lunar swirls. Scientists continue to learn what lunar swirls are, how they form, and their relationship to the Moon's magnetic field.
The mission is funded through commercial customers, and Intuitive Machines' third awarded task order from NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative. AAC Clyde Space delivered power systems to Intuitive Machine's IM-1 and IM-2 missions, both part of NASA's CLPS initiative, focused on the exploration and use of natural resources of the Moon.
"We are excited to be part of this new era of lunar exploration aiming to pave the way for a sustainable human presence on the Moon by the end of the decade. We are delighted that Intuitive Machines shares our trust in the Starbuck power system, developed for the needs of small spacecraft," says AAC Clyde Space CEO Luis Gomes.
Power Systems are the cornerstone of any mission enabling a satellite to perform a number of different tasks, starting with maximising the power taken from solar panels, converting it to useful voltages to power electronics and charge batteries, storing energy safely in the batteries, and finally distributing power to all systems when needed. This must be done while autonomously protecting everything from unexpected events in all conditions during the entire mission lifetime.