Until now, the spacecraft has been in the Neil Armstrong assembly facility at the Kennedy Space Center. now Lockheed Martin, which built it, handed it over to the ground crew for refueling and preparation for launch later this year
NASA's Orion spacecraft is ready for its mission to the moon. Lockheed Martin completed assembly and testing of Orion spacecraft Artemis I and transferred ownership to the NASA Ground Team (EGS) last Thursday. The EGS team, operating at the Kennedy Space Center, will make the final preparations on the spacecraft for its mission to the moon later this year.
Orion is the new spacecraft of NASA, which is classified as a spacecraft designed to carry humans and which is designed to fly astronauts into deep space, including the moon and Mars. Lockheed Martin is NASA's prime contractor and built the crew module, the twin module and the launch abort system. The European Space Agency provides the European Service Module for Orion.
mission The first Artemis would be The first launch of the Orion spacecraft aboard NASA's SLS Heavy Launch Vehicle. Over the course of three weeks, an unmanned Orion capsule will circle the moon and return to Earth. This test mission will validate the spacecraft, launcher and ground systems for future manned missions.
"Orion is a unique and impressive spacecraft and our team has done an outstanding job to get us this far," said Mike Hawes, Orion vice president and Lockheed Martin program manager. "The launch and flight of Artemis will be an impressive spectacle, but more importantly, they will ensure that Orion is ready to safely carry humans to the moon and back. This tremendous progress opens the door to a new era of deep space exploration that will ultimately benefit us here on Earth."
The Orion spacecraft was moved from the Neil Armstrong Building at the Kennedy Space Center where it was assembled to many facilities at the space center, where NASA ground crew members will load it with fuels and other consumables such as ammonia, helium and nitrogen, and integrate the launch cancellation system and defense systems. After this process is completed, it will be taken to the vertical assembly facility and lifted to the top of the SLS launcher ready to roll for launch.
Manned missions at the door
The launch later this year will herald the start of many Artemis missions to the moon. The next mission, Artemis 2, will be the first to fly astronauts into lunar orbit and back.
The Artemis 3 spacecraft will already fly two astronauts - one of them the first woman to land on the moon. Orion will bring them into orbit around the moon, where they will eventually land on the surface using a separate lunar landing system. This spacecraft is under construction at the NASA Assembly Center.
As part of the Orion production and operations contract, NASA has already ordered three Orion spacecraft from Lockheed Martin for the Artemis III-V missions with plans to order three more Orion spacecraft for the Artemis VI-VIII missions and options for up to 12 missions.
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