The Orion Spacecraft for NASA's 2020 Trip Around the Moon Is Ready to Go (Photo) | 7/20/2019 | Mike Wall
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NASA's crewed moon return is drawing ever closer.

Aerospace company Lockheed Martin has finished building the Orion capsule that will fly on the uncrewed Artemis 1 test mission around the moon next summer, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence announced Saturday (July 20) — the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing.

Capsule - European-built - Service - Module - NASA

The capsule has also been stacked atop its European-built service module at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Lockheed Martin representatives said.

"Throughout assembly, the team tested and validated the many systems a hundred different ways to ensure they will operate as designed in the harshness of deep space," Mike Hawes, Orion program manager for Lockheed Martin, said in a statement.

Artemis - Flight - Design - Workmanship - Capsule

"The Artemis 1 flight will test the design and workmanship of the capsule and its service module during the three-week mission out around the moon and back," Hawes said. "We're excited for this mission as it paves the way for the first crewed mission in 2022, Artemis 2."

Vice President Mike Pence gives remarks on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing near NASA's Artemis 1 Orion spacecraft (background) at the Kennedy Space Center’s Neil Armstrong Operations & Checkout Building on July 20, 2019.

Artemis - Name - NASA - Lunar-exploration - Program

Artemis is the name of NASA's ambitious lunar-exploration program, which...
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