CLEVELAND — To infinity and beyond? Close – more like to the moon and beyond. That’s NASA’s mission over the next five years, and Ohio plays a big part in the plan.
The Artemis Program will put the next man and first woman on the moon by 2024, but Colonel Doug Wheelock with NASA said getting them there relies on what’s happening here in Ohio right now.
“Anything that’s going to space and going to the moon has to come through Ohio first,” Wheelock said. “We've got 124 companies throughout the state of Ohio that are contributing to the space exploration mission.”
The mission to the moon will rely on the Orion spacecraft. It’s getting a test run now at the NASA Plum Brook Research Center in Sandusky.
“We can fully test out a spacecraft before it goes to space,” Wheelock said. “And it’s the only place on Earth we have this chamber.”
Once testing is over, Orion will head to the Kennedy Space Center to get ready for launch. When astronauts reach the moon, they'll work to make it sustainable for humans as a pitstop on our way to Mars.
If you're interested in learning more about the mission or space travel, NASA's Visitor's Center is inside the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland.