A new program by NASA called the Artemis is named after Apollo’s mythical twin sister. The goal is that the next footprint on the Moon would be of a woman. To date, twelve American men have walked the Moon. In December 1972, the last Apollo astronaut left his footprints on the Moon. Almost a half-century later, NASA is planning to send people back to the Moon.
Charlie Blackwell-Thompson is the first female launch director for NASA. She said, “There is no place on launch day that I would wanna be but right here.” In a year or so, the ‘go for launch’ command for the first Artemis moon rocket would be given by Thompson.
She visited the historic Firing Room One at Kennedy Space Center more than 30 years ago as a college graduate interviewing for a job. It would be the place where she will give the launch command.
All the Apollo moon missions were launched on the massive Saturn five rockets. At the time, it was the most powerful in the world. NASA’s new rocket is even more muscular than the earlier one. The most powerful rocket ever is known as the Space Launch System or SLS. It is still in test and has fired four main engines only once during a trial run. It is yet to fly independently.