Albuquerque-based company helps launch NASA’s Artemis I
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – NASA’S Artemis I rocket launched from Kennedy Space Center early Wednesday morning. The unmanned craft is now headed on a 26-day mission around the moon.
“This is just the test flight. We are stressing it and testing it in ways that we will not do to a rocket that has a human crew on it,” said Bill Nelson, NASA administrator.
Wednesday’s launch was a long time coming and required the work of a lot of people. Including, employees from a small business based in Albuquerque.
“It was a fantastic thing. Like I said it takes an enormous team to make these things happen,” said Brian Eslinger, vice president of Space Program Metis.
More than 30 employees with Albuquerque-based Metis Technology Solutions are part of the Artemis mission. The company is focused on engineering and simulation work.
“We’ve been doing engineering planning across the U.S. in three different states,” said Eslinger.
NASA is its top customer. Metis employees play an important role in launch pad safety, and running tests.
“We did catch some issues early on that caused some rework on the vehicle at the cape,” Eslinger said.
And helping ensure launch operations are safe.
“Making sure that all the facilities and people are in safe zones,” said Eslinger.
The unmanned Orion crew capsule is now heading for the moon. It will orbit for a couple of weeks to help NASA gather data before returning to the earth.
Metis is also playing a role in collecting this important data.
“We had folks up at Wallace Island Virginia, who are helping setting up some of the tracking facilities, and monitoring ground station systems during the launch. Not only during the launch but they will continue to operate for the entire mission,” Eslinger said.
Metis is also assisting with data collection through eight small shoebox sized satellites called “CubeSats.”
“Our folks do the planning for the tracking and data collection,” Eslinger explained.
All part of the mission to get astronauts back to the moon in just a couple of years, and even to establish a base there to get astronauts to Mars – or beyond.
“Being a space geek and a NASA geek for a long time going back to the moon, and going on to Mars is just phenomenal,” said Eslinger.