The crew of NASA’s Artemis I mission got their first close look at their Orion spacecraft on Monday, as it was rolled out of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The crew, which includes commander Mike Collins, pilot Lacy Chastain, and mission specialist Jessica Watkins, got to see the spacecraft up close and personal and even got to climb inside.
They were also able to see the spacecraft’s systems in action and to get a feel for what it will be like to fly on Orion when it launches later this year.
The crew was excited to get their first close look at Orion, and they said they were impressed with what they saw.
“It’s amazing,” said Collins. “It’s everything I imagined it would be and more.”
Chastain said she was “blown away” by the spacecraft, and Watkins said she was “humbled” to be a part of the mission.
The crew will spend the next few months training for the Artemis I mission, which is scheduled to launch in November 2023. The mission will send Orion on a circumlunar flight, which means it will orbit the moon but not land.
The Artemis I mission is the first step in NASA’s plan to return humans to the moon by 2024. The next mission, Artemis II, will send a crew around the moon but not land. The third mission, Artemis III, will land the first woman and the first person of color on the moon.
The crew of Artemis I am excited to be a part of this historic mission, and they are ready to make history.