The return of NASA to the manned moon is approaching.
Lockheed Martin has completed construction of the Orion capsule, which will fly around the moon on the unscrewed Artemis 1 test mission site next summer Mike Pence Saturday ( July 20) – the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing .
The capsule was also stacked on its European-built service module at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Lockheed Martin officials said.
"Throughout the assembly, the team tested and validated the many systems in a hundred different ways to make sure they work in the harsh conditions of space," said Mike Hawes , Orion Program Manager for Lockheed Martin. said in a statement .
"The Artemis 1
Artemis is the name of NASA's ambitious moon exploration program, designed to bring two astronauts nearby. The program is also set to have a long-term, sustainable presence on and around Earth's nearest neighbor build up.
Orion is the key to these plans, as well as a giant rocket called  459004] Space Launch System (SLS), which is currently under development. Artemis 1 marks the first flight of the SLS. Orion once flew into orbit on an unmanned test mission launched in December 2014 on a United States launch Alliance Delta IV heavy rocket. This will serve as a starting point for traveling with and without crew to the lunar surface.
NASA does not plan to stop in front of the moon. The main goal of Artemis is to teach the agency how to live and work in space to prepare for manned journeys to the ultimate destination for human spaceflight: Mars. NASA wants to create boots for the Red Planet before the end of the 2030s.
Mike Wall's book on the Search for Extraterrestrial Life, " Out There " (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated) by Karl Tate ) is available now. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall . Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook .