Author Topic: On-time Artemis landings by SpaceX, Blue Origin possible, but face “great challenges”  (Read 320 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Elderberry

  • TBR Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 24,399
Spaceflight Now by Will Robinson-Smith 10/27/2023

After a successful mission with Artemis 1 in November, 2022, and with the pieces of the Artemis 2 architecture coming together for a launch targeting late 2024, NASA continues to simultaneously push towards the big items that are key to the future missions.

One of the biggest outstanding feats is getting ready to actually bring humans to the surface of the Moon. Overseeing that aspect of the missions, starting with Artemis 3, is Dr. Lisa Watson-Morgan, the manager of the Human Landing System (HLS) program operating at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

In a sit-down interview with Spaceflight Now amid the von Braun Space Exploration Symposium, Watson-Morgan said getting these landers ready for their debuts on the Artemis 3 and Artemis 5 mission respectively for SpaceX and Blue Origin provide both numerous challenges as well as unique opportunities.

“I think we have great, great challenges in front of us,” Watson-Morgan said. “Right now, today, I don’t see anything that’s stopping us, but that’s today.”

She pointed to some of the leaps forward in rocket capabilities from SpaceX as a barometer for pulling off the lunar landing capability of its Starship rocket. Watson-Mogran also noted that the Blue Origin-led team has Lockheed Martin as a partner, which brings expertise from the Orion program with it.

“That’s the beauty of our model. We take the best of what our government does, our expertise, and then we take a leap with the technological innovation that industry says, ‘We need to do this in order to save costs and make a business case out of this and give you the value and the good price that we are,’” Watson-Morgan said.

“That’s where it’s such an engineering art in that we have to balance what they need to do to be successful from a business standpoint and ensure paramount, tantamount that we’re doing all we can for crew safety. And the crew is lock-and-step with us on both Blue and on SpaceX.”