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Top NASA officials talk future of Glenn Research Center

$2 billion in yearly economic impact expected to grow for Northeast Ohio
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Posted at 6:29 PM, Jan 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-11 07:13:16-05

CLEVELAND — Just a couple weeks after Artemis I completed its trip around the Moon, top NASA officials paid a visit to the Glenn Research Center to discuss what's next as space exploration ramps up.

NASA’s top official, administrator Bill Nelson, told News 5 the amount of funding coming into NASA Glenn and rippling out into the community, which is estimated at $1.9 billion per year, is only expected to grow.

"One of the most important agendas for [NASA] Glenn is the fact of propulsion and electricity; that is essential to our future in space," Administrator Nelson said. "The future is very bright for the Glenn Research Center."

In December, Artemis I completed its 25-day mission orbiting the moon and splashed down. It's the first step in NASA's quest to return to the moon for the first time in 50 years.

"This is increasingly a jewel for Cleveland," Sen. Sherrod Brown said. "3,500 jobs here and we know those jobs lead to all kinds of other jobs and we know what that means."

RELATED: NASA Glenn Research Center hosts Ohio Space Forum, leaders discuss future development in Ohio

The Artemis I Orion spacecraft that's launched in November was in Sandusky just a couple of years ago being tested in a thermal vacuum environment.

After it’s trip around the Moon, the Artemis I Orion capsule is slated to return to Northeast Ohio for a series of launch abort system tests in preparation for Artemis II, the first crewed mission set to orbit the moon, which is slated for 2024.

In addition to NASA Glenn's efforts, 62 Ohio companies helped provide support for Artemis, whether that was equipment, research or testing.

Ultimately, the Artemis missions will return humanity to the moon's surface and help create a long term human presence on the moon.

"The moon is just the beginning," NASA Deputy Administrator Col. Pam Melroy said. "We’re going to demonstrate technologies that allow humans to go out into the solar systems. Then we will demonstrate on Mars and who knows what the next destination will be."

In addition to work for Artemis missions, News 5 has highlighted other aspects of recent research done at NASA Glenn, including the upcoming VIPER mission, which will search for water on the moon and preparing a highway for the sky and the future of flying.

Clay LePard is a special projects reporter at News 5 Cleveland. Follow him on Twitter @ClayLePard or on Facebook Clay LePard News 5

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