MADRID (EUROPA PRESS). Lockheed Martin has completed assembly and testing of the Orion Artemis I spacecraft and transported it to NASA for final tests of its mission to the Moon later this year.
Orion is a new NASA exploration spacecraft that will take astronauts to deep space, including the moon and Mars. Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor for NASA and manufactured the crew unit, crew unit converter and launch abort system. The European Space Agency provides the European Service Unit to Orion.
The Artemis I mission will be the first launch of the Orion spacecraft on board the NASA Space Launch System rocket. Over the course of three weeks, the unmanned Orion capsule will fly, circle the moon and return to Earth. This test mission will verify the health of spacecraft, missiles, and ground systems of future manned missions.
The Orion is transported from the Neil Armstrong Operations Building in Kennedy Center, where it was assembled, to various facilities in the same complex where fuel and other consumables such as ammonia, helium, and nitrogen will be loaded, integrating a launch abort system and nose guard gift. Once complete, you will be taken to the Vertical Mounting Facility to lift onto the SLS missile and prepare for a cab ride to the launch pad, Lockheed Martin explained in a statement.
The launch later this year will be the start of many of Artemis’ missions to the moon. The next mission, Artemis II, will be the first with a crew on board to go out to orbit the moon and back. The Orion hardware unit and service console switch are in assembly at Kennedy and will see the first run of its compact computers this summer.
Artemis III sees the first woman and the next man walking on the moon. Oren will take them to orbit the moon, where they will eventually land on the surface using a lunar landing system. This spacecraft is already under construction, with the main structural elements of the crew unit pressure vessel arriving at NASA’s Michode assembly facility.
As part of the Orion production and operation contract, NASA has contracted to build three Lockheed Martin Orion spacecraft for the Artemis III-V missions, with plans to order three additional Orion spacecraft for Artemis VI-VIII missions and options for up to 12 missions.