As NASA's Orion spacecraft approaches the Moon on the Artemis III mission to put the first woman and next man on the lunar surface, the crew will get a glimpse through the spacecraft’s windows.
The first element machined for the Artemis III Orion crew module – a cone panel with openings for windows which will provide that spectacular view – was designed by Orion’s lead contractor, Lockheed Martin, and manufactured by AMRO Fabricating Corp., of South El Monte, California. The completed panel is on its way to NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility near New Orleans, Louisiana, where engineers will weld it with other panels as part of Orion’s pressure vessel.
“It’s truly exciting to have the first piece of the Artemis III Orion spacecraft completed at AMRO that will enable American astronauts to build a sustainable presence on the lunar surface,” said Acting Orion Program Manager Howard Hu. In addition to machining elements for Orion’s crew module, AMRO manufactures the panels for the core stage, launch vehicle stage adapter, and the Orion stage adapter for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket that will send Orion to the Moon during Artemis missions. Orion, SLS, and Exploration Ground Systems (EGS) programs are foundational elements of the Artemis program, beginning with Artemis I, the first integrated flight test of Orion and SLS next year. Artemis II will follow with the system’s first crewed mission, taking humans farther into space than ever before. Human exploration of the Moon under the Artemis program offers a unique opportunity to test, refine, and perfect many of the technologies and complex operations that will be needed to land humans on Mars, perform their work on the surface and safely return them to Earth. Together, Orion, SLS and EGS are using suppliers in all 50 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico – almost half of which are small businesses. These suppliers are creating jobs, reinvigorating manufacturing, and promoting American innovation in our aerospace industrial base and beyond through their work on NASA’s exploration programs.