NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center to lead lunar lander project

The Marshall Space Flight Center will manage the lunar lander program, which will send man back to the moon by 2024, and then to Mars.

Posted: Aug 14, 2019 6:13 PM
Updated: Aug 14, 2019 6:35 PM

A developing story from NASA could transform the aerospace industry in Huntsville. The Marshall Space Flight Center will manage the lunar lander program, which will send man back to the moon by 2024, and then to Mars.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine will be in the Rocket City on Friday, where one published report says he will hold an "all hands on deck" meeting with employees at 3 PM.

(Credit: NASA)

NASA officials tell WAAY 31 Huntsville is the perfect place to manage this part of the Artemis project, which will heavily rely on the private sector. 

In July, NASA tabbed Marshall's Dr. Lisa Watson-Morgan, a Huntsville native, to oversee the development of the lander that will carry astronauts from the lunar gateway to the surface of the moon. This project will pave the way for a long-term human presence on the moon.

WAAY 31 is told the lander project is currently in the early stages. It is unclear whether or not it will be fully built in Huntsville. NASA officials say this project will differ from Apollo, which took man to the moon 50 years ago.

In previous missions, NASA would mainly purchase the tools or equipment it needed. However, the Artemis project will rely heavily on working together with the private aerospace industry, which has a large footprint in North Alabama. 

Tracy McMann at the Marshall Space Flight Center says the center has the right people and equipment in place for the project. An expansion will most likely not be needed.

We expect to learn more information Friday when NASA's chief talks to employees at the Marshall Space Flight Center. NASA emphasizes this project is not just a Huntsville effort, it's a nationwide effort. 

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