Lockheed Martin’s Orion spacecraft is one tangible step closer to taking people back to the Moon. The aerospace giant has completed assembly and testing of the Orion ship, and has transferred it to NASA ahead of the Artemis I test mission later in 2021. At this point, it’s just a matter of final prep work that includes loading propellants, integrating the launch abort system, and mounting the ship atop the SLS rocket.
Artemis I is an uncrewed mission. Orion will orbit the Moon to help verify both its own systems as well as those of the SLS and ground teams ahead of Artemis II, the first mission with astronauts aboard. It’s not until Artemis III that people will return to the lunar surface.