DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – Marshall Space Flight Center Director, Jody Singer, spoke to the Rotary Club of Decatur. She updated the group on the progress of the Space Launch System, upcoming uncrewed Artemis mission and Alabama’s role in the project.
News 19 spoke with Singer at the event on Monday. Singer said NASA has a busy week ahead. On Thursday, crews at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida will begin rolling out the Space Launch System to the launch pad. They will conduct a test known as a “wet dress”.
The test ensures all parts of the spacecraft are in proper working order, ahead of a later launch.
Singer explained, “We’ll literally do a countdown, where we go and make sure the systems are talking, that the whole vehicle, that the Orion capsule and the Space Launch System are talking. So when we are ready to push the button and go, we’ll be going.”
While the test will be happening in Florida, it wouldn’t be possible without parts made right here in Alabama.
“One of our companies in Decatur is ULA,” Singer said. “ULA is responsible for what we call the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage, and that’s what gives us the extra kick and (go) up into space.”
Singer added it is great to see North Alabama making such a huge impact on space exploration.
“Knowing that Huntsville, the Rocket City and the River City, is all a part of it, you know, from liftoff to landing, to returning safely to earth, this area is critical in making it happen,” she said.
The data collected during the test will help NASA find and address any possible problems, and help them set a launch date. Tentatively, NASA is looking at a late May or early June launch date.