Texas Companies anticipate launch of Artermis I – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

The countdown begins again and NASA prepares for another attempt to launch its most powerful rocket yet as part of the Artemis mission.

The 32-story rocket is one the agency hopes will take astronauts back to the moon in a few years. The rocket’s first launch attempt from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, was canceled in August due to technical problems, followed by two hurricanes.

The final two-hour time slot for the Artemis 1 mission launch is now early Wednesday morning, starting at 12:04 AM CST. Wednesday’s launch will have no crew on board.

“Nothing but excited. We’re ready to start,” said NASA astronaut Christina Koch. “We are excited to be the crew allowed to accomplish these missions. It is a great honor to be in this role. We really trained for that.”

NASA has not launched a spacecraft intended to send astronauts to the moon since 1972. Several North Texas companies have contributed to the historic upcoming mission, including Sey Tec of North Richland Hills.

The company has been in business for 34 years, buying and distributing parts for the aerospace and defense industries.

“Think of us as a big box warehouse for components that hold all these aircraft and ground vehicles together,” said Matthew West, Sey Tec general manager. “We are indispensable. We and other subcontractors working in support of NASA are critical in terms of program scalability and attention to detail.”

Many of the manufactured products used for the Artemis missions were shipped to Sey Tec, who have a team to handle the paperwork and parts inspection.

“They will check the parts for size and fit and calipers and sign off the parts,” West said.

From there, the parts are placed as inventory at the North Richland Hills warehouse to support various programs.

“They pull the parts right off the shelves. Pack them, mark them with a label. Then the parts come out again,” West said.

Many eyes will be on Wednesday morning’s start, including Ken Ruffin.

“I’ll have my phone. I will have my laptop with me and hopefully there will be some TV news. So my plan is to have three screens at once,” Ruffin said.

Ruffin is President of the National Space Society of North Texas. In August, he traveled to Florida to watch the launch before being scrubbed.

“When there are such delays, it is not the perfect situation. But it’s better if there’s a delay than something negative,” he said. “The Artemis program really is a lot bigger than most people probably realize.”

A successful launch of Artemis I will be a major milestone in the mission, with NASA’s future plans to place crew members on the rocket and launch it into lunar orbit as part of Artemis II in 2024. The goal is to bring crew members to the rocket’s lunar surface in 2025, according to NASA.