Brevard County

Crews prepare for Artemis I launch with help from Lockheed Martin

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — Crews are gearing up for liftoff from our Space Coast next Monday.


NASA’s moon rocket and the Orion spacecraft are on the pad and ready for launch.

In just three days, Artemis 1 will lift off from the Kennedy Space Center on an uncrewed mission around the moon.

This mission will demonstrate the capabilities of NASA’s SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft to carry astronauts to the moon and beyond.

Read: Final inspections underway ahead of Artemis I launch, countdown begins Saturday

“We’re developing a capability — we owe to the American people some product,” said NASA astronaut Victor Glover. “They need to see we’ve been doing our jobs.”

Launch teams will begin the countdown on Saturday for the uncrewed Artemis 1 mission next week.

“This first launch is another step in the blueprint of our sustainable exploration of the solar system,” said Jim Free, NASA associate administrator in exploration systems development.

Read: VP Kamala Harris to visit Kennedy Space Center for NASA’s Artemis I launch

NASA acknowledged the numerous commercial partnerships that have played a role in getting SLS and Orion to the pad.

There are more than 3,000 companies in total that have contributed, including Lockheed Martin, the Orion spacecraft’s prime contractor.

“Lockheed Martin is committed is to reducing the costs of the Orion production contract to deliver spacecraft 50% cheaper than we were in the early stages of the flight hardware,” said Kelly Defazio, director of Orion production at Lockheed Martin.

Read: Artemis I: 9 things to know about NASA’s mission to return humans to the moon

NASA has spent many years and billions of dollars in investment to get back to the moon.

“We want to stay on the lunar surface and learn on the surface so we can get the most science and know how we’re going to go to Mars,” Free said.

Weather conditions are looking primarily favorable for the launch day.

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