Clear Lake firm playing key role in NASA's missions to the moon

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Seven months ago, we introduced to you Intuitive Machines as it bid on NASA's moon contract.

Look how far they've came over the last few months.

With the clock ticking, there's no slowing down as this Clear Lake company prepares to go to the moon.

Part of that preparation was contained in a transport truck.

"We put a liquid oxygen tank on one side and put a liquid methane tank on the other side," explained Trent Martin, vice president of aerospace services for Intuitive Machines. "And some helium tanks to pressurize our system, and then, on the back we put our rocket engine."

The rocket engine is a creative simulator Intuitive Machines developed, because it recently won a contract to take NASA payloads to the moon.

"We were super excited for about a week, and then we realized we have two years to do this," Martin said.

To make it happen, the company has to use a 3D printer to create unique metal pieces. It also has to develop its own mission control.

"Our mission control will probably have 15 seats in it. Much smaller than a typical NASA human mission," said Martin.

The payloads Intuitive Machines are carrying will help NASA test precision moon landing.

"The other thing we're looking at is what does the plume do? As the lander starts to land on the moon, what is happening to all that dust as it goes up?" Martin added.

In the '60s, it was NASA in Clear Lake that helped put man on the moon. In 2024, it will be Clear Lake once again, this time from private companies in the area.

"The fact that a small company can do that, only in the United States can that happen," Martin beamed.

SEE ALSO: Houston firm plans to deliver payloads to moon for NASA
EMBED More News Videos

Intuitive Machines made national headlines after winning a NASA contract that could help the Houston company reach space.

Want to see more from the heart of your community? Check out your town's stories through ABC13's HTX+ Facebook page.

Follow Nick Natario on Twitter and Facebook.
Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.