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On Feb. 22, 2024, Intuitive Machines’ Odysseus lunar lander captures a wide field of view image of Schomberger crater on the Moon approximately 125 miles (200 km) uprange from the intended landing site, at approximately 6 miles (10 km) altitude. Credit: Intuitive Machines NASA and Intuitive Machines will co-host a televised news conference at 2 p.m. EST Wednesday, Feb. 28, from the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston to highlight the company’s first mission, known as IM-1.
The lander, called Odysseus, carried six NASA science instruments to the South Pole region of the Moon as part of the agency’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative, and Artemis campaign. The IM-1 mission is the first U.S. soft landing on the Moon in more than 50 years, successfully landing on Feb. 22.
The news conference will air on NASA+, NASA Television, and the agency’s website
Learn how to stream NASA TV on a variety of platforms, including social media.
Participants in the news conference include:
Joel Kearns, deputy associate administrator, Exploration, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters in Washington Sue Lederer, CLPS project scientist, NASA Johnson Steve Altemus, chief executive officer and co-founder, Intuitive Machines Tim Crain, chief technology officer and co-founder, Intuitive Machines Media interested in participating in person must RSVP no later than 11 a.m. on Feb. 28. To participate by telephone, media must RSVP no later than one hour before the start of the news conference. Submit either request to the NASA Johnson newsroom at 281-483-5111 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The agency’s media accreditation policy is online.
For more information about the agency’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative, visit:
Cheryl Warner / Karen Fox
Nilufar Ramji / Laura Sorto
Johnson Space Center, Houston
Intuitive Machines, Houston
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NASA's SpaceX Crew-8 Launch (Official NASA Broadcast in 4K)
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Preparations for Next Moonwalk Simulations Underway (and Underwater)
Meredith Patterson, front row, center right, poses with her teammates in the High-Powered Rocketry Club at North Carolina State University on the day they launched the rocket they built for NASA’s 2023 Student Launch. The experience and knowledge Patterson gained from her years participating in the annual competition helped pave the way for a career at NASA after graduation. High-Powered Rocketry Club at NC State By Jessica Barnett
Sometimes, all it takes is a few years and the right people to completely change a person’s career trajectory. One such example is Meredith Patterson, an aerospace engineer at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, who went from knowing little to nothing about rockets to being part of the team that is working to put humans back on the Moon.
She credits her success in large part to NASA’s Student Launch, which not only helped her uncover her passion for aerospace engineering but gave her the knowledge and experience she needed to get where she is today.
The annual Student Launch competition invites student teams from across the U.S. to spend nine months designing, building, and testing a high-powered rocket carrying a scientific or engineering payload. The hands-on, research-based engineering activity culminates each year in a final launch in Huntsville. This year’s challenge conclusion is set for April 10-14, with the final launch date set for April 13 at Bragg Farms in Toney, Alabama.
While Student Launch is open to students as young as sixth grade, Patterson was in her junior year of high school when she learned about the competition during a tour of North Carolina State University.
“When I walked into the rocketry lab there, I knew then, however many years it was going to take, I wanted to be the person who was able to run that and help put together everything for us to be successful in Student Launch,” Patterson said.
Meredith Patterson, then-freshman at North Carolina State University, assembles the competition vehicle used by the school’s high-powered rocketry club in this photo from the NASA’s 2019 Student Launch. Patterson was a member of the club and a regular participant in Student Launch for five years before graduating and turning her experience into a full-time career as an aerospace engineer at NASA. High-Powered Rocketry Club at NC State She attended North Carolina State for five years, participating in each year’s Student Launch competition and leading the team to a fourth-place win during her final year. She received her Level I and Level II certifications from Tripoli Rocketry Association through Student Launch, and she was able to connect with mentors from Tripoli and the National Rocketry Association that helped her get the hands-on experience and technical know-how she believes are key to success in the aerospace industry.
“My leadership skills grew, my system engineering skills grew, and my technical writing skills grew,” Patterson said. “Having mentors through the competition allowed me to ask questions and learn on the technical side of things, too. I think I use more information from Student Launch day to day than from almost any of my classes in college.”
She said attending an engineering camp at 16 years old first unlocked her interest in spaceflight and rocketry, but it was through Student Launch that she got to really dive in and deepen her passion.
“It’s crazy to think that less than 10 years ago, I had never even built a rocket, and now I can build Level II-sized rockets on my own and I’m actively working on the biggest solid rocket boosters in the world,” Patterson said. “Just in the past year, I’ve gone from the L-class motor that we used for Student Launch to casting 11-inch motors to now actively watching the casting of the SLS (Space Launch System) boosters.”
Meredith Patterson, a former competitor in NASA’s Student Launch Challenge, now works as an aerospace engineer at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.NASA Student Launch is part of NASA’s Artemis Student Challenges. Seventy teams representing 24 states and Puerto Rico were selected to compete in the 2024 Student Launch Challenge.
Marshall hosts the Student Launch challenge with management support provided by NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement – Southeast Region. Funding is provided, in part, by NASA’s Space Operations Mission Directorate and NASA’s Next Gen STEM project.
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NASA Student Launch Challenge
Middle/high school and college-level student teams design, build, test, and launch a high-powered rocket carrying a scientific or engineering payload.
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Credit: NASA/Kenny Allen NASA astronaut and Artemis II pilot Victor Glover is assisted by U.S. Navy personnel as he exits a mockup of the Orion spacecraft in the Pacific Ocean during training Feb. 25, while his crewmates look on. The Artemis II crew and a team from NASA and the Department of Defense are spending several days at sea to test the procedures and tools that will be used to help the crew to safety when they splash down in the ocean at the end of their 10-day, 685,000-mile journey around the Moon next year as part of the first crewed mission under NASA’s Artemis campaign.
On the day of the crew’s return to Earth, a Navy ship with specially trained personnel will await splashdown and then approach the Orion capsule to help extract the four astronauts. An inflatable raft, called the front porch, will provide a place for them to rest when they exit the capsule before they are then individually hoisted by helicopters and flown to the waiting ship.
Artemis II, launching atop the SLS (Space Launch System) rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, will test the Orion spacecraft’s life support systems needed for future lunar missions.
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