For millennia we have stared in awe towards the sky and wondered about the nature and the mysteries of the celestial objects we are able to see at night. Besides the sun, no other object has sparked more fascination in us than the Moon, inspiring countless myths and legends across cultures and nations. In 1966, the Luna 9 spacecraft became the first spacecraft to successfully land on it, and only 3 years later, aboard Apollo 11, humans stepped on lunar soil for the first time, a feat that would not be repeated after Apollo 17 in 1972. For many years, we shifted our attention towards other parts of the solar system, but in the past decade, interest in revisiting our only natural satellite has reignited. Attracted by its natural resources and as a possible hub for interplanetary travel, the Moon has become once more the focus of various space agencies and commercial companies in a reinvigorated modern space race.
As one of nine contractor companies selected by NASA in November 2018 to submit bids for the Commercial Lunar Payload Services program, Intuitive Machines will launch its first out of three lunar landers, the IM-1 Nova-C lander, in summer 2022 aboard a Falcon 9 rocket. Nova-C will be the first U.S. vehicle to softly land on the lunar surface since 1972. The lander features the VR900 engine, which uses methane and liquid oxygen and produces 4,000N of thrust, as well as advanced autonomous landing and hazard detection technologies. Capable of carrying 130kg of cargo, the IM-1 Nova-C lander will land on the Moon within 1 degree of 25 N latitude, 50 W longitude, in Vallis Schroteri in Oceanus Procellarum, in a chosen 200-meter landing site, and will ferry numerous experiments to explore and test technologies to process natural resources of the Moon. As such, it will become the first commercial company to bring NASA and commercial payloads to the lunar surface.
To celebrate this milestone, we have partnered with Intuitive Machines for an exciting KSP challenge, where you'll have the opportunity to win an invitation to join their team in their brand new and modern Mission Control Center in Houston, TX, for the real IM-1 Nova-C moon landing! So, what is this challenge about? Simple, build a Nova-C lander and recreate the IM-1 mission as close as you can! The closest you get to the real thing, the better. To successfully complete this challenge, you’ll need to:
Build a Nova-C analogue and load it with scientific experiments.
Launch it aboard a Falcon 9-like rocket.
Decouple the lander and perform a direct throw TLI to get to the Mün.
Perform a soft landing in the Canyons North of the Farside Crater
as close to the actual landing site as possible.
Perform some experiments.
Post a video* showcasing your successful mission on this thread or on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram with the hashtags #NovaCChallenge and #Contest. (Remember to show the coordinates of the location where you have landed).
*Videos should not contain any music that you do not personally own.
(KSP in-game music is ok, just no adding in extra music unless it's something that you created and own the rights to. Licensed music, cover songs, "copyright free" music, etc. is not allowed.)
Up to 30 Points for a realistic Nova-C recreation. (appearance, size, and mass all matter)
20 Points for decoupling and performing a direct throw TLI to get to the Mün.
Up to 40 Points for landing safely at the right location.
2 Points for each experiment you bring with you and perform. (Maximum of 20 points)
20 Additional points if you perform a vertical takeoff, cruise, and landing to another location of the Mün after you have arrived at your first destination.
30 Additional points if you safely land the Falcon 9-like rocket on Kerbin.
In the event of a tie, the winner will be determined by a panel of judges.
Mods are NOT allowed. Cheats are NOT allowed. This challenge is intended to be completed in Stock KSP. This means players can not utilize DLC or any other add-ons to complete the challenge. Add-ons are classified as any original or derivative work intended to expand another work by adding or replacing files. (Including, but not limited to: informational mods, visual mods, autopilot mods, and utility mods) We are allowing the use of custom flags only. Note: Please make sure to maintain a copy of your saved game as you may be asked to submit it for further review. You have until March 23rd, 2022, to complete the challenge. The winner will be announced on March 31st, 2022. One grand prize winner will win a trip to Houston, TX to join the Intuitive Machines team in mission control for the real Nova-C moon landing. The winner will also get a tour of the Intuitive Machine spacecraft production facility while they’re there! Airfare and a 2-night, 3-day stay at Hilton Houston NASA Clear Lake for the winner are included. Good luck!
OPEN ONLY TO LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE FIFTY UNITED STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. MUST BE AT LEAST 18 YEARS OF AGE. CONTEST BEGINS AT 9:00 AM PT ON MARCH 1, 2022, AND ENDS AT 11:59 PM PT ON MARCH 23, 2022. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED SUBJECT TO THE OFFICIAL RULES LOCATED AT http://bit.ly/kspnovacchallengerules