Space Jam
Innovation & Tech Today|2020 Year-End Issue
NASA bands together with industry for a return to the moon
Joe Toppe

In 1962, John F. Kennedy told a large crowd at Rice Stadium in Houston, Texas, “We choose to go to the moon.” And we did, just seven years later.

Today, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is working alongside industry to ensure we not only return to the moon, but we use it as a springboard to Mars and beyond. With global firms like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman providing resources to the Artemis Program, NASA is expected to land the first woman and next man on the lunar surface by 2024.

While Lockheed Martin will provide the space vehicle, The Orion, Boeing will supply the rocketry to propel the astronauts beyond Earth’s gravity and into deep space.

Mark Nappi, Boeing’s Space Launch Systems Director, told Innovation & Tech Today the company designed and built the first stage rocket and the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS).

“The Space Launch System uses upgraded solid rocket boosters and the RS-25 engines from the shuttle,” he said. “The stages are designed from the ground up to be evolvable – human-rated and able to support a variety of science, exploration, and defense missions – without having to re-invest in new infrastructure.”

Each of these functions will play a key role in NASA’s vision for deep space exploration while using the International Space Station (ISS) as a proving ground for technologies needed to support humans long-term in a weightless environment.

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