Senator Hewitt: Space Exploration Begins at New Orleans' Michoud
Michoud has a legacy of service, manufacturing vehicles that moved the nation forward. From the C-76 cargo planes during World War II and engines for the M4 Sherman and M46 Patton tanks during the Korean War, to the Saturn V Rocket in the 1960s and NASA’s Space Shuttle, Louisiana’s Michoud Assembly Facility has played a critical role in history.
Today, Michoud continues its work with NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS). This rocket is the largest and most powerful ever built and will deliver the first woman and next man to the moon.
It’s currently the only exploration-class rocket capable of carrying humans to the moon and into deep space, making SLS able to support a broad range of missions into the future, including crewed missions to the moon and Mars and robotic missions to the outer planets of our solar system. These capabilities will open doors to a new era of space exploration, scientific research, and human achievement. They will also support national security.
Adversarial nations continuously present threats to our country. As technologies advance, battlefields will evolve. It’s no longer far-fetched to imagine that space will be a platform for modern warfare. Countries like China and Russia are building their capabilities to prepare for this scenario. U.S. space vehicles like the SLS rocket will be instrumental in discovery, enabling our military to protect Americans in space.
Michoud is at the center of these developments. It’s where ideas are transformed into reality by the hardworking hands of Louisiana manufacturers. Despite the challenges 2020 has presented, including COVID-19 and the devastation of hurricanes Laura and Delta, workers at Michoud have continued to safely and efficiently work to deliver critical pieces of the SLS core stage rocket, ensuring that essential testing of the rocket can continue.
NASA’s SLS rocket has passed several critical tests. Along with its industry partner Boeing, NASA will continue testing the rocket over the coming weeks to ensure that it will safely deliver astronauts riding in the Orion space capsule to the moon in the years to come.
The SLS program is building confidence in the U.S. as a world leader in space exploration, technology and defense. In Louisiana, Michoud supports hundreds of jobs and helps keep small businesses alive.
The future of space exploration and security has arrived; built and delivered by the working women and men of Louisiana.
Senator Sharon Hewitt
10/21/2020 - Published: The Advocate - By Senator Sharon Hewitt