A Huntsville-based aerospace missile and defense company has its eyes set on the next big space mission.
Dynetics is working on NASA's Artemis mission with the goal of landing astronauts back on the moon by 2024.
Crews at Dynetics are working on three major projects, all that have ties to the Artemis program. WAAY 31 talked to the director overseeing these projects, who says Apollo 11 is what drives their team.
"The time that was put into making that happen back then is an inspiration to us," said Andy Crocker, Dynetics' director of strategy for space.
Andy Crocker oversees the major space exploration projects that Dynetics is working on, with hopes and dreams it's as revolutionary as the Apollo 11 mission 50 years ago.
"When we look back to Apollo 11, it's kind of the shining moment I guess for all of us that we would like to recreate, if we can, in our careers," he said
Crocker says he was always fascinated with aerospace and as a kid, always had to move because of his father's job. He says he knew eventually, he'd land in Huntsville, the place where he says all space projects must go through.
"It really all built on what von Braun and his team started 50-plus years ago. They established Marshall Space Flight Center and Redstone Arsenal, and that has attracted aerospace engineering from all over the South and the country," Crocker said.
Now, he and his team are preparing for the future. Dynetics is working on a propulsion system for two lunar landers as well as NASA's Lunar Gateway.
The Lunar Gateway will serve as a space station in the lunar orbit, and will be a location for astronauts to go before they get to the moon and back. Crocker says, like Apollo, they want to return to the moon, but this time, do much more.
"Not just landing, but actually building habitats, building power stations and capabilities to remain there, to be there full time," he said.
The two lunar landers Dynetics is working on are scheduled to land on the moon in 2020 and 2024.