Lunar company Intuitive Machines' stock surges again as lander approaches the moon


The company’s IM-1 mission lander shortly after launching on Feb. 15, 2024.

Intuitive Machines

Shares of Intuitive Machines jumped for a third consecutive trading session as the company’s first mission completed further milestones as it approached the moon.

In a series of daily updates since Friday, the Texas-based lunar company said its cargo lander “continues to be in excellent health” and is preparing to enter the moon’s orbit on Wednesday. The company noted that entering lunar orbit, also known as “lunar orbit insertion,” will be the mission’s “largest challenge to date.”

The mission, known as IM-1, launched on a SpaceX rocket last week and has since completed several of the 16 milestones that Intuitive Machines identified as key to the mission’s success. One of the key milestones came when the lander, named “Odysseus,” successfully fired its engine for the first time. The lander’s used the engine to adjust its trajectory and remain on target.

The company is on track to make its moon landing attempt at 5:49 p.m. ET on Thursday, it said.

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Intuitive Machines’ stock surged about 30% in early trading from its previous close of $7.32 a share. Since the IM-1 mission launched, the company’s shares have surged more than 90%.

Intuitive Machines and NASA leaders showcase a mockup of the company’s Nova-C lunar lander during a presentation on May 31, 2019.

Aubrey Gemignani / NASA

The IM-1 lander is carrying 12 government and commercial payloads — six of which are for NASA under an $118 million contract.

Intuitive Machines’ mission represents the second under NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative, which aims to use low-cost private spacecraft to deliver science projects and cargo to the moon with increasing regularity in support of the agency’s Artemis crew program.

Governments and private companies alike have made more than 50 attempts to land on the moon with mixed success since the first attempts in the early 1960s, and the track record has remained shaky even in the modern era. 

Last month, U.S. company Astrobotic got its first moon mission off the ground but encountered problems shortly after launch. The flight was cut short and failed to make a lunar landing attempt.

Here's why the U.S., China, India, Japan and others are rushing back to the moon



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