NASA's Artemis Moon Lander Will Be Built At Marshall Space Flight Center
19 Août, 2019, 19:23 | Auteur: Therese Cote
Bridenstine, accompanied by USA lawmakers from Alabama, made the announcement about the NASA Artemis lunar programme at the Huntsville facility in front of a 149-foot-tall (45 meters) test version of a fuel tank for NASA's heavy-lift moon rocket, the Space Launch System.
The Johnson Space Center, which managed Apollo and other NASA human spaceflight programs in the past, will help assimilate US astronauts with the lunar lander and manage all Artemis missions beginning in 2020, when the programme's debut unmanned flight to space is due, NASA said.
The Artemis program calls for building a small space station called Gateway, made up of a solar-electric propulsion module connected to a docking port.
U.S. Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, the ranking GOP member of the House Space Subcommittee, was a no-show at today's ceremony and joined Texas' GOP senators - Ted Cruz and John Cornyn - in calling for the decision to be reconsidered.
"'Houston' was one of the first words ever uttered on the Moon, and Houston, the city that last sent man to the Moon, should be where the lander that will once again send Americans to the lunar surface is developed", they said in a statement Thursday.
U.S. Representative Mo Brooks of Alabama said on Friday, "Marshall has unique capabilities and expertise not found at other NASA centers".
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Bridenstine made the announcement at the Marshall facility in front of a test version of the 45m- (149ft-) tall hydrogen tank for the Space Launch System rocket, which will launch the astronauts on their journey from Earth in 2024. NASA touts the SLS as the worlds most powerful rocket once completed. "I will use every tool at my disposal to ensure the Johnson Space Center remains the crown jewel in human space exploration", he said in a statement.
Companies, including billionaire entrepreneur Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin, Elon Musk's SpaceX and Lockheed Martin, are developing potential components of the lunar lander, and will compete for NASA funds via competitive bidding later in the year.
"This is one NASA".
At the same time, "it is absolutely true that when you think about the module where our astronauts will be, that can not be done without the Johnson Space Center". "We are all working to achieve the same goal", Bridenstine said.
It is worth mentioning that Lisa Watson-Morgan, former Deputy Engineering Director of MSFC, will be the one that will be in charge of the project. Bridenstine has stressed that a woman will be on the first crew to the lunar surface.
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