Interview with Dave Reynolds, NASA Deputy Program Manager for SLS Booster Subsystems

In this episode we’ll discuss NASA’s upcoming Artemis 1 mission, scheduled to launch no earlier than the end of this month. The Space Launch System rocket, or “SLS” will propel the Orion spacecraft on its mission around the Moon and back to Earth. Artemis 1 will be an uncrewed flight test that will travel farther than any other human-rated spacecraft has traveled before. This mission, the first of an increasing series of complex missions, will demonstrate NASA’s capability to extend human existence to the Moon, and on to Mars. Joining me today from NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center is Dave Reynolds, Deputy Program Manager for SLS Booster Subsystems. 

Artemis I Mission Overview

Artemis I is the first integrated test of NASA’s deep space exploration systems: the Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the ground systems at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The first in a series of increasingly complex missions, Artemis I is an uncrewed flight test that will provide a foundation for human deep space exploration and demonstrate our commitment and capability to return humans to the Moon and extend beyond.

During this flight, Orion will launch atop the most powerful rocket in the world and fly farther than any spacecraft built for humans has ever flown. Over the course of the mission, it will travel 280,000 miles (450,000 kilometers) from Earth and 40,000 miles (64,000 kilometers) beyond the far side of the Moon. Orion will stay in space longer than any human spacecraft has without docking to a space station and return home faster and hotter than ever before.

This first Artemis mission will demonstrate the performance of both Orion and the SLS rocket and test our capabilities to orbit the Moon and return to Earth. The flight will pave the way for future missions to the lunar vicinity, including landing the first woman and first person of color on the surface of the Moon.

With Artemis I, NASA sets the stage for human exploration into deep space, where astronauts will build and begin testing the systems near the Moon needed for lunar surface missions and exploration to other destinations farther from Earth, including Mars. With Artemis, NASA will collaborate with industry and international partners to establish long-term exploration for the first time.

For more information visit Nasa.gov/artemis