Lockheed Martin finished constructing the Orion spacecraft's crew capsule ahead of NASA's planned Artemis 1 uncrewed mission to the moon, Vice President Mike Pence announced during his visit to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The Lockheed-NASA team stacked the crew module on top of Orion's service module last week in Florida as part of integration activities which also involve the spacecraft's avionics systems, engines, propulsion systems and other components, Lockheed said Saturday.
Lisa Callahan, vice president and general manager of Lockheed's commercial civil space division, said Orion is “uniquely designed for long-duration deep space flight“ that will support the safe transport of astronauts for the moon mission as well as future missions to Mars.
“We're excited for this mission as it paves the way for the first crewed mission in 2022, Artemis 2,“ noted Mike Hawes, Lockheed's program manager for the Orion effort.
The combined modules will be transported to a NASA facility in Ohio for a series of tests that evaluate Orion's environmental and electromagnetic readiness ahead of launch processing activities slated for early next year.