Privately Funded Moon Missions

February 10, 2023
February 10, 2023 Hal Jordan

Privately Funded Moon Missions

NASA has contracted with two private US companies, Astrobotic and Intuitive Machines, to land missions on the Moon in 2023. A Japanese company, ispace, already has a lander on the way to the Moon.

Astrobotic designed two lunar landers, Griffin and Peregrine. Griffin has a payload capacity of 1,102 pounds (500 kilograms), and Peregrine can carry 265 lbs (120 kg). Their first launch will be a Peregrine lander, carrying about 11 payloads and possibly touching down in the first quarter of 2023 on an area of the Moon called the Gruithuisen Domes, in the Ocean of Storms. A Griffin lander is scheduled to carry NASA’s Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER) to the Moon’s south pole in 2024.

The launch of the Intuitive Machines IM-1 mission has been delayed from spring, 2023 to June, 2023. The mission will land at the Moon’s south pole as a scout for NASA’s Artemis 3 manned mission to the lunar surface, scheduled for 2025. The mission will carry five payloads (PDF) on a lander called Nova-C, which is capable of carrying 220 pounds (100 kilograms). Intuitive Machines is scheduled to conduct two further lunar missions for NASA.

The very first lunar mission to land on the Moon successfully may be HAKUTO-R Mission 1, conducted by ispace. The lander was launched on December 11, 2022, and is now enroute to lunar orbit after a period of testing in Earth orbit. The lander is expected to complete its gravitational maneuvers and be prepared for insertion into lunar orbit in late March. The company is providing mission status updates on Twitter.

If you are a “space junkie,” you will soon have no shortage of missions to follow.


Commercial Lunar Payload Services

HAKUTO-R Mission 1

IM-1 Payloads (PDF)

Intuitive Machines now targeting moon’s south pole for delayed lunar landing mission

ispace Twitter updates

What is Intuitive Machines and how is it aiming for the moon?

Who is Astrobotic Technology and what do they do?


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The United Federation Starfleet Blog is written by Fleet Captain Hal Jordan and is published every Friday. Join in the discussion! Engage with us on Discord at:


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