CLOSINGS: View Closings

Huntsville to manage lunar lander program for Artemis moon mission

Illustration of an ascent vehicle separating from a descent vehicle and departing the lunar surface. (Credit: NASA)
Illustration of an ascent vehicle separating from a descent vehicle and departing the lunar surface. (Credit: NASA)

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine will be at Marshall Space Flight Center on Friday.

Posted: Aug 14, 2019 7:45 AM
Updated: Aug 14, 2019 12:41 PM

The head of NASA is heading back to the Rocket City to discuss NASA's planned return to the Moon by 2024.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine will visit Marshall Space Flight Center on Friday to outline Marshall's role in the Artemis program.

NASA will be forming a cross-agency team, said Jena Rowe, NASA public affairs officer.

Marshall Space Flight Center is leading it and has the program manager, but a mixture of commercial and industry partners from Huntsville and across the country will be involved.

It is too early to tell if the actual lander will be completely put together here in Huntsville.

Tracy McMann, public affairs at Marshall Space Flight Center, said the center will be involved in the mission.

One of the reasons NASA chose Marshall Space Flight Center, said spokesperson Tracy McMann, is because it has the right personnel already in place.

From earlier:

A story on the Ars Technica website says: “According to multiple sources, Bridenstine plans to announce that the Alabama-based field center will manage the program to develop the lunar lander for the Moon program.”

The story, which you can read in full here, also says: “As part of the carefully negotiated agreement, Marshall will have responsibility for the overall program as well as two elements of what is planned to be a three-stage lander. The center in northern Alabama will oversee commercial development of the Transfer Element—planned to ferry the lander from the Lunar Gateway down to low-lunar orbit—as well as the Descent Element that will fly down to the surface.”

Last month, Dr. Lisa Watson-Morgan was named as the program manager for NASA's Human Landing System. The 30-year veteran engineer and manager will oversee the "rapid development of the lander that will safely carry the first woman and the next man to the Moon's surface in 2024."

Watson-Morgan previously served as deputy director of the Engineering Directorate at Marshall. The Huntsville native also received “a master's degree in industrial and systems engineering in 1994 and a doctorate in engineering management in 2008, both from the University of Alabama in Huntsville.”

“Lisa’s appointment to this key role not only reflects NASA’s confidence in her visionary leadership, but confidence in the proven expertise and world-class capability that define Marshall’s contributions to safely landing humans on the Moon and launching complex spacecraft to the Moon and Mars,” said Marshall Director Jody Singer.

In addition to overseeing the testing of the landing systems and conducting crewed demonstrations, Watson-Morgan will also “further manage lunar landing system integration with the Orion deep space crew vehicle, launched by the Space Launch System, that will carry Artemis explorers to and from the Gateway lunar orbital platform.”

The day before he arrives in Huntsville, Bridenstine will visit the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans to meet with members of the SLS program and view progres on the core stage of the rocket involved in the Artemis 1 lunar mission.

Last month, Dr. Lisa Watson-Morgan was named as the program manager for NASA's Human Landing System. The 30-year veteran engineer and manager will oversee the "rapid development of the lander that will safely carry the first woman and the next man to the Moon's surface in 2024."

Watson-Morgan previously served as deputy director of the Engineering Directorate at Marshall. The Huntsville native also received “a master's degree in industrial and systems engineering in 1994 and a doctorate in engineering management in 2008, both from the University of Alabama in Huntsville.”

“Lisa’s appointment to this key role not only reflects NASA’s confidence in her visionary leadership, but confidence in the proven expertise and world-class capability that define Marshall’s contributions to safely landing humans on the Moon and launching complex spacecraft to the Moon and Mars,” said Marshall Director Jody Singer.

In addition to overseeing the testing of the landing systems and conducting crewed demonstrations, Watson-Morgan will also “further manage lunar landing system integration with the Orion deep space crew vehicle, launched by the Space Launch System, that will carry Artemis explorers to and from the Gateway lunar orbital platform.”

The day before he arrives in Huntsville, Bridenstine will visit the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans to meet with members of the SLS program and view progres on the core stage of the rocket involved in the Artemis 1 lunar mission.

Huntsville/Redstone
Clear
56° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 56°
Muscle Shoals
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 59°
Huntsville/Madison
Clear
56° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 56°
Decatur
Clear
56° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 56°
Fort Payne
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 57°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 499411

Reported Deaths: 10149
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson719951403
Mobile36396741
Madison32674469
Tuscaloosa24391423
Montgomery22789523
Shelby22250219
Baldwin19915289
Lee15070161
Calhoun13961296
Morgan13785255
Etowah13413327
Marshall11458215
Houston10121264
Elmore9509190
Limestone9435139
St. Clair9050228
Cullman8993183
Lauderdale8628214
DeKalb8507175
Talladega7643165
Walker6600260
Jackson6551104
Autauga634492
Blount6252128
Colbert6007121
Coffee5261104
Dale4680107
Russell407534
Franklin400779
Covington3996107
Chilton3911104
Escambia379473
Tallapoosa3637143
Clarke344553
Chambers3432111
Dallas3428142
Pike292973
Marion288796
Lawrence285787
Winston258568
Bibb246058
Marengo244657
Geneva240270
Pickens225757
Barbour213851
Hale212569
Fayette202657
Butler201466
Henry183541
Cherokee178140
Monroe166739
Randolph165141
Washington157036
Macon147845
Crenshaw146755
Clay146254
Cleburne140141
Lamar133933
Lowndes133151
Wilcox123225
Bullock117736
Conecuh107224
Perry106427
Sumter100832
Coosa90324
Greene88732
Choctaw55723
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 782206

Reported Deaths: 11543
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby878791517
Davidson82125874
Knox46447589
Hamilton40698463
Rutherford38749388
Williamson25489204
Sumner21542320
Montgomery17539213
Out of TN1718496
Wilson16618211
Unassigned15837126
Sullivan14499275
Blount14189184
Bradley13067141
Washington12840234
Maury12273162
Sevier12158165
Putnam10660170
Madison10136232
Robertson9027121
Anderson8103158
Hamblen8088166
Greene7315145
Tipton6974103
Coffee6432115
Dickson6295106
Gibson6200141
Cumberland6137123
Carter5998155
McMinn597193
Roane594696
Bedford5841120
Loudon573666
Jefferson5717119
Lawrence558083
Monroe539591
Warren533377
Hawkins529598
Dyer5248101
Franklin476585
Fayette468773
Obion437195
Lincoln416462
Rhea415573
Cocke403996
Cheatham397944
Marshall392857
Campbell383459
Weakley379960
Giles375897
Henderson362574
Carroll349381
White339866
Hardeman339465
Macon337773
Hardin332063
Lauderdale310042
Henry301675
Marion295945
Wayne288830
Scott288644
Overton286558
Claiborne284769
McNairy268753
Hickman267941
DeKalb267251
Haywood265160
Smith257936
Grainger244846
Trousdale240022
Morgan231138
Fentress230044
Johnson217538
Chester202448
Bledsoe201310
Crockett197447
Unicoi182147
Polk179122
Cannon178630
Union174134
Grundy170230
Lake167926
Sequatchie157527
Humphreys155621
Decatur154237
Benton151339
Lewis147625
Meigs126823
Jackson125734
Stewart124425
Clay107131
Houston103832
Perry103528
Moore94716
Van Buren79720
Pickett74723
Hancock50012

Community Events