Mountain West companies are helping NASA go back to the moon
Colorado-based Sierra Space provided negative-pressure relief valves for the craft, which allow astronauts to have sustainable breathable air, says company president Janet Kavandi.
“Sierra Space is just very proud to be a part of the return to the moon, the Artemis program, and everything that goes into that,” said Kavandi, a former NASA astronaut.
She said the company is also developing inflatable habitat structures that could be used for NASA’s settlements on the moon.
“It’s kind of science fiction coming true today,” she said. “And I think that’s just really fun to be a part of.”
Following the completion of Artemis I, NASA will choose a crew to fly around the moon on the Artemis II mission, which is tentatively set to launch in 2024. That would lay the foundation for Artemis III, putting a woman and a person of color on the moon for the first time.
NASA hasn’t put a human on the moon in half a century. The agency says it’s returning to the moon for three main reasons: scientific discovery, economic opportunities and inspiration for the next generation of explorers.
The agency plans to use what it learns on and around the moon for a mission that sends the first astronaut to Mars.
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