It was 1962 when NASA began construction on Merritt Island, a swamp in central Florida, in the middle of a vast site from which Americans would soar into the sky and walk on the Moon.
Bob Seek, former Space Shuttle launch director and member of the Gemini and Apollo launch teams, was present from the start.
Seek watched Kennedy Space Central rising over the Banana River. It was an isolated time, almost like a war-time effort, Sieck said, building the entire complex, the Apollo moon rocket and capsule, training on it, and then launching it to the Moon — all in 7 years.
The Artemis I Moon rocket (also known as the SLS) has already been 10 years in the making, and NASA is using some Space Shuttle hardware to put it together inside an existing Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), Which is a cave building built for Shani. V Moon Rocket.
Jeremy Graber, Assistant Launch Director for the Artemis I mission, said that Artemis is not a new mission but a progression of missions.
“But it’s a different environment in which we live today than in the ’60s,” Seek said. “In the ’60s we were a more risk-accepting society. We were doing everything for the first time so the system that provided the money and budget was tolerant of things going wrong, making mistakes, having accidents. And the ones that needed to recover from it. Whatever had to be done, I do with business. It was like a relentless war campaign to get to the moon, all you needed was resources, money or whatever you needed to support it. That he asks for. And when something goes wrong it’s okay, we’re doing things for the first time so we’re still going to support you.”
“Now we’re going to take what we’ve learned from Apollo, the shuttle, the International Space Station and take it to the Artemis mission,” Graber said.
NASA is learning from the lessons of 60 years at Kennedy Space Center. After the first weight dress rehearsal countdown test ends early, the latest lesson is learning to fully fuel Artemis.
Engineers took the SLS back to the VAB and quickly diagnosed and repaired leaks and a faulty valve. Will Graber complete a second wet dress rehearsal effort starting this Saturday?
“I think we’re in really good shape, the teams that worked through the issues we identified during our first wet-dry dress rehearsal did a great job,” Graeber said. Graber said that after the second weight dress rehearsal is successful, Artemis will be launched this year. Subsequent Artemis missions will land the next man and the first woman on the Moon.
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