AAC Clyde Space, a leading New space company, has received a USD 1.0m order on subsystems for the ice-drilling mission IM-2 to the Moon led by the U.S. company Intuitive Machines. The order follows the recent delivery of flight models for the U.S. company’s first lunar landing mission.

AAC Clyde Space will deliver its Starbuck power system, including 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. A flight model is to be delivered in the second quarter 2022 whereafter the IM-2 mission is expected to be launched in late 2022.

We are delighted to continue to collaborate with Intuitive Machines in 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. The use of systems developed for small spacecrafts in this type of mission shows that our part of the space sector has come of age,” says AAC Clyde Space CEO Luis Gomes.

The mission will drill after ice on the Moon and after harvesting it, use a mass spectrometer to measure how much is lost as the ice turns from solid into vapor. The data will help scientists understand how to search for water at the Moon’s pole, and how much water may be available to use as NASA plans to establish a sustainable human presence on the Moon by the end of the decade. The ice drilling mission is also part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative.

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, store energy safely in the batteries and finally distribute 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.

AAC Clyde Space has recently delivered power systems to Intuitive Machine’s IM-1 mission, which is the first lander in NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative, focused on the exploration and use of natural resources of the moon.

Intuitive Machines of Houston, Texas, is a provider and supplier of space products and services that enable sustained robotic and human exploration to the Moon, Mars and beyond. The US company leads an effort to develop a commercial Lunar Payload and Data Service which provides transit to lunar orbit, payload delivery to the lunar surface, and data communications and power services to assets both in lunar orbit and on the surface.