Enabling Lunar exploration

Space products


AAC Clyde Space are supplying the power systems, battery solutions and engineering services for the lunar lander, Nova-C, mission led by the U.S. company Intuitive Machines.

Nova-C is the first lander of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative, which is focused on the exploration and use of natural resources of the moon. It is planned to launch on a Falcon 9 rocket for its first robotic landing on the moon in 2024. The IM-1 mission is targeted for a multi-day launch window that opens no earlier than mid-February.

AAC Clyde Space’s STARBUCK-MINI PCDUs are being used for this mission, the company’s most powerful and efficient power system for advanced space missions. The STARBUCK-MINI was designed and manufactured in Sweden at AAC Clyde Space’s facilities in Uppsala. With their modular design, these solutions can be utilised and adapted for an array of different applications stretching from lunar exploratory and deep space scientific missions to commercial constellation applications.

AAC Clyde Space Starbuck Power Solution Rockets to the Moon!

  • Intuitive Machines’ Nova-C spacecraft launched February 15th 2024 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, carrying AAC Clyde Space’s Starbuck power systems.

    “Incorporating AAC Clyde Space’s power system into our IM-1 mission Nova-C class lunar lander is not just a choice; it’s a strategic imperative,” said Intuitive Machines President and CEO Steve Altemus. “The Starbuck power system is an essential component powering Nova-C, and our aspirations to open access to the Moon for the progress of humanity.” Footage provided by Intuitive Machines.

NASA is offering $2.6 billion to US companies who can get the US back to the moon over the next ten years. The effort is a new phase of NASA’s CLPS initaitive, which aims to encourage commercial moon missions and is focused on robotic vehicles and science, rather than human spaceflight. The goal is to send instruments and science experiments to the surface of the moon using commercial landers that are developed and operated by private companies. Investigations and demonstrations launched on commercial moon flights will help the agency study earth’s nearest neighbour under the Artemis program.

In November 2018, Intuitive Machines was awarded a $77 million NASA contract under this initiative for a robotic landing on the moon as part of this new era of lunar exploration. Nova-C will carry up to five NASA-provided and other commercial payloads and will land on a dark region on the Moon called Oceanus Procellarum and transmit scientific data back to Earth during 13.5 days of activity on the moon.

Intuitive Machines of Houston, Texas, is an engineering firm specializing in automation and aerospace leading an effort to develop a commercial Lunar Payload and Data Service (LPDS) 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.

Power Systems are the cornerstone of any mission, the system of a satellite has to perform a number of different tasks, starting with maximising the power you take from your 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 they need it. And this must be done while autonomously protecting everything from unexpected events in all conditions during the entire mission lifetime.

Our solutions have already demonstrated impressive space-based capabilities stretching across a range of applications, from IoT and communications to Earth observation and now this year it’ll be moon exploration!

The Starbuck Mini PCDU is a modular power conditioning and distribution unit. It’s unique design allows it to be configured to mission and spacecraft needs. The unit has multiple inbuilt protections and combines COTS and radiation hardened components to optimize the reliability and performance characteristics of the ITAR free system. You can learn more about the Starbuck Mini and our other solutions here.

We are excited to be part of this new era of lunar exploration, paving 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.
AAC Clyde Space CEO Luis Gomes