San Jacinto College Students and Alumni Play Pivotal Role in Historic Lunar Landing

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PASADENA, Texas – Several San Jacinto College students and alumni recently made history by working on the Intuitive Machines lunar lander that landed on the moon on Feb. 22. The Intuitive Machines' IM-1 lander, also known as Odysseus, is the first commercial spacecraft to achieve this feat and the first American craft to do so since NASA's final Apollo mission in 1972.

The Intuitive Machines’ IM-1 lander embarked on its journey on Thursday, Feb.15, launching at approximately 12 a.m. CST and successfully touching down on the lunar surface a week later at around 5:24 p.m. The company's mission control received signals from the lunar surface after landing and started lunar surface operations. 

San Jacinto College and Intuitive Machines have solidified their partnership over the past several years, offering students unparalleled opportunities for hands-on experience and industry-relevant education. Through internships and employment opportunities at Intuitive Machines, San Jacinto College students have gained invaluable experience while benefiting from up-to-date curriculum, fostering a seamless transition from education to the workforce.

“The collaboration between San Jacinto College and Intuitive Machines exemplifies the power of industry and education coming together to provide students with real-world experience while pursuing their certifications and degrees,” said Dr. Sarah Janes, associate vice chancellor of Continuing and Professional Development. “Our students have thrived in this environment, gaining practical skills and knowledge that prepare them for successful careers in the space exploration industry.”

A total of 18 San Jacinto College students have had the opportunity to intern or work for Intuitive Machines, while five alumni currently hold positions within the company. Additionally, eight current students are employed by Intuitive Machines, further highlighting the mutually beneficial nature of this partnership.

This collaboration serves as a model for how industry and education can work in tandem to equip students with the skills and experience needed to thrive in today's competitive job market. By providing students with hands-on experience alongside their academic studies, San Jacinto College and Intuitive Machines are empowering the next generation of leaders in the aerospace and space exploration sectors.

About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, evolving industries, maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has served the people of East Harris County, Texas, since 1961. The College is one of the top 10 community colleges in the nation as designated by the Aspen Institute and was named an Achieving the Dream Leader College of Distinction in 2020. The College is a Hispanic-Serving Institution that spans five campuses, serving approximately 41,000 credit and non-credit students annually. It offers more than 200 degrees and certificates across eight major areas of study that put students on a path to transfer to four-year institutions or enter the workforce. The College is fiscally sound, holding bond ratings of AA+ by Standard & Poor’s and Aa2 by Moody’s.

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