Shares of Intuitive Machines, a space-exploration company, experienced a substantial 23.9% surge on Monday, maintaining their recent upward momentum. The company is on the verge of making history with the imminent launch of its Nova-C commercial lunar lander.
In collaboration with launch partner SpaceX, Intuitive Machines has set its sights on a launch window that opens at 12:57 a.m. Eastern time on February 14th. The momentous event will see Nova-C being propelled into space atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the iconic Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A. The lunar lander is expected to touch down on the moon’s surface on February 22nd.
Should the IM-1 mission prove successful, Nova-C will become the first commercial U.S. lunar lander to achieve this incredible feat. Notably, last month, another private American space company, Astrobotic Technology, encountered setbacks in its mission to deploy a lander on the moon.
Intuitive Machines’ stock concluded Friday’s session with an impressive gain of 32.01%, marking its most significant daily percentage increase since April 26, 2023, when it surged by 32.3%.
Observers in the investment community took notice of this meteoric rise. StockTwits, a renowned social platform for investors and traders, tweeted, “This stock is trying to moon, literally,” underscoring Intuitive Machines’ premarket surge on Monday.
As part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative and the broader Artemis program aimed at returning U.S. astronauts to the moon, the IM-1 mission represents Intuitive Machines’ inaugural attempt at landing on the lunar surface.
Investors and space enthusiasts alike are eagerly following Intuitive Machines’ historic journey into space, as the success of this mission would undoubtedly mark a significant milestone in space exploration.
Stay Tuned for Space Stocks in 2024
Artemis Program Expands with Nova-C Lunar Mission
The upcoming launch of the Nova-C spacecraft is set to coincide with the monthly lunar blackout period. This carefully chosen timing will ensure that Nova-C lands near the moon’s south pole, where optimal lighting conditions are available for only a limited number of days each month.
As an integral part of the Artemis program, this mission will carry a range of NASA science and technology instruments. These instruments will focus on various areas, including plume-surface interactions, space-weather and lunar-surface interactions, radio astronomy, precision-landing technologies, as well as a communication and navigation node for future autonomous navigation technologies.
Commercial moon landings play a crucial role in the reconnaissance efforts of the Artemis program. In a recent announcement, NASA revealed that it is aiming for its first crewed Artemis mission around the moon to take place in September 2025. Furthermore, the agency aims to land astronauts near the lunar south pole as part of the Artemis mission in September 2026.
A Similar Success: Japan’s Smart Lander
Japan’s Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) achieved a significant milestone last month when it successfully landed on the moon. However, an interesting image taken by SLIM’s rover showed the probe upside down on the lunar surface.
Intuitive Machines, the company responsible for Nova-C, has experienced a 40.9% decline in its shares over the past 52 weeks. In contrast, the S&P 500 index has seen a gain of 21.6% during the same period.