Lockheed Martin finished constructing the Orion spacecraftâ€™s crew capsule ahead of NASAâ€™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 Orionâ€™s service module last week in Florida as part of integration activities which also involve the spacecraftâ€™s avionics systems, engines, propulsion systems and other components, Lockheed said Saturday.
Lisa Callahan, vice president and general manager of Lockheedâ€™s commercial civil space division, said Orion is â€œuniquely designed for long-duration deep space flightâ€ that will support the safe transport of astronauts for the moon mission as well as future missions to Mars.
â€œWeâ€™re excited for this mission as it paves the way for the first crewed mission in 2022, Artemis 2,â€ noted Mike Hawes, Lockheedâ€™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 Orionâ€™s environmental and electromagnetic readiness ahead of launch processing activities slated for early next year.