KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (WHNT) – NASA leaders say Artemis I is ready to launch. NASA completed its Flight Readiness Review, an in-depth analysis of the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft.
“We did talk to the launch team, we talked to the flight team, we talked to the recovery team and then the management team and everybody said they are ready to go so we are looking forward to the mission,” says Jim Free, Exploration Systems Development Associate Administrator.
No matter when the launch happens, NASA says the test flight has risks.
“I want to put this in perspective. This is a test flight. And it’s not without risks. We have analyzed the risk as best we can and we’ve mitigated also as best we can,” says Bob Cabana NASA Associate Administrator.
The whole purpose is to make sure everything works perfectly for when they have a crewed flight.
“We are stressing Orion beyond what it was actually designed for,” says Cabana.
NASA says the main objective is testing the Orion heat shield on the spacecraft that will carry humans.
“We are pushing the vehicle to its limits, really stressing it to get ready for crew. It is incredibly risky. We talked about risks today we talked about our mitigation steps for those risks,” says Free.
NASA leaders say that’s why the first launch of the SLS is so crucial. To collect data and information before sending a crew to space.
“This is the first flight of a new rocket and new spacecraft and at its furthest point the spacecraft will be nearly 290 thousand miles from Earth before returning home, and this is the first human class mission in over 50 years, so we are doing something that is incredibly difficult to do and does carry inherent risks in it,” says Artemis I Mission Manager Mike Sarafin.