HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – Senior NASA officials visited the Marshall Space Flight Center on Tuesday to see progress in Huntsville’s role in planning the Artemis missions, the agency’s largest project to date.
“We’re basically developing a plan for how we’re going to send humans into space and beyond, (and) beyond low earth orbit where we can move up and down pretty quickly.” NASA Assistant Administrator Pam Melroy said. But in fact (a plan) to go beyond the moon to Mars and who knows where then. “
Administrator Bill Nelson said the minds of engineers and scientists at the Marshall Space Flight Center will take us there.
“(NASA employees in Huntsville) have a very special part in our nation’s history, in our nation’s space program,” Nelson said.
However, Nelson said the facilities that Huntsville engineers have to work with may themselves require work. Nelson said President Biden’s Build Back Better bill makes the necessary infrastructure improvements if passed in Washington.
“There’s a low-level lab here that’s on its last legs,” Nelson said. “This building needs to be demolished and replaced. These are the kinds of things we need to get across.
As for the delayed Artemis II, III, and IV launches, Nelson, Melroy, and former shuttle astronaut Robert Gibson have each said from experience that good things happen to those who wait.
“We’re going to be more efficient,” Melroy said. “We will learn from this with Artemis II, III, IV and beyond. But what we do, no one else has the capacity to do. Absolutely no one.
“Space is very difficult and ruthless,” Gibson said. “And we’re going to have delays. There is simply no way around it. I think when we look at the Artemis timeline and the SLS rocket timeline it actually worked quite well when you look at the challenge and the scale of what needed to be put in place and what needed to be done. . The Marshall Space Flight Center did a brilliant job.
NASA says final preparations are underway for Artemis I, an unmanned test flight, and is hoping for a February launch.
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