“Our first mission has a very unique orbit for the first 24 hours,” said Troy LeBlanc Ph.D., Intuitive Machines’ vice president of control centers. “We’re going to make a highly elliptical orbit around the Earth, that’s going to require fast-moving satellite dishes, and KSAT has that capability and the expertise to establish first contact on IM-1.
“KSAT is pleased to support Intuitive Machines in their endeavor to carry out the first Houston-commanded lunar landing since the end of the Apollo program.”, said Rolf Skatteboe, CEO of KSAT. Exploratory missions going to the Moon and beyond are challenging and we are looking forward to providing services from our Lunar network to these two challenging missions as a start. Going back to the Moon is long overdue and IM is paving the way.
KSAT has expanded its existing ground network of over 200 antennas across more than 25 geographically distributed sites to include large-diameter (15m+) antennas. Through a single point of integration, KSAT offers direct-to-earth communications coverage during every stage of a lunar mission.
“KSAT continues to improve their dish network for lunar distance communications,” said LeBlanc. “They are a long-term partner of ours and we expect to work with them on every one of our missions.”