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Morehead State plans watch party for lunar lander arrival on the Moon

photo of lunar landerMorehead State plans to celebrate the successful landing of a lunar mission being supported by students in the space systems engineering program.

Intuitive Machines’ IM-1 mission sent its Nova-C lunar lander named Odysseus to the Moon on Feb. 15 as part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative. CLPS is a key part of NASA’s lunar exploration efforts.

IM-1 is expected to land on the moon on Thursday afternoon, Feb. 22.

MSU invites students, faculty, staff, and the community to join us to watch the landing at the Space Science Center’s Star Theater. The Star Theater will open at 4 p.m. The lander is expected to land at approximately 6:24 p.m.

Follow Intuitive Machines on X to track the lander's progress and updates on the estimated landing time. 

MSU’s Space Science Center is among the primary ground stations for the mission as part of the Intuitive Machines Lunar Data Network (LDN), which includes locations in England, South Africa, and Australia. Students in the space systems engineering program will provide telemetry, tracking, and command services for the mission, meaning they will communicate with the spacecraft and collect data it is transmitting back to Earth. MSU students will also track a NASA payload that IM-1 is carrying to the Moon called Lunar Node 1.

The lander will spend one-week collecting data on the moon before lunar night falls and temperatures drop so low that its electronics won’t function.

“This is an incredibly exciting time for the space industry, and particularly for the lunar community. For Morehead State to have a critical role in this historical CLPS mission is extraordinary,” said Dr. Ben Malphrus, executive director of the Space Science Center. “The opportunity for our students and staff to contribute to the return to the Moon and to the early stages of building a true lunar economy is almost surreal.”

Intuitive Machines is a diversified space exploration company focused on pioneering the commercial landscape of outer space – with a North Star of landing the United States on the Moon. Intuitive Machines believes that their first lunar missions are the spark that will ignite the commercial development of the Moon as a destination of scientific achievement and will serve as a commercial blueprint to explore our solar system.


For more information about the mission, contact Malphrus at or 606-783-2212.

Learn more about MSU’s Department of Engineering Sciences by emailing Department Chair Dr. Eric Jerde at or calling 606-783-5406. 

Photo Credit: SpaceX

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