Kansans prepare for NASA’s Artemis mission Monday
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Artemis 1 is set to launch on Monday morning from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral. Kansans will be watching the program that will one day send the first woman and a person of color to the moon.
The Kansas Aviation Museum in southeast Wichita will host a watch party for the Artemis launch on Monday. Executive Director Ben Sauceda hopes it inspires Kansans.
“Kansas is the foundation where aviation and ultimately aerospace took place. So it’s important for us to help let others see the work that’s gone before to where it’s led to now and how we might inspire future generations to take space travel or aviation travel further than it is today,” said Sauceda.
From the launch pad to the control room, the mission has multiple connections to Kansas.
Todd Barber is a JPL senior propulsion engineer for NASA. The Kansas native is presenting at the Kansas Cosmosphere on Saturday to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Voyager.
“I’ve spoken for Ad Astra before at their Galaxy Forum about 5 years ago and our title this year is from ‘Voyager to Artemis.’ So, god willing, we’ll launch Monday, the first uncrewed mission of the shuttle replacement. So, it’s incredibly exciting times at NASA,” said Barber.
Last week, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson was in Augusta to tour DJ Engineering. It’s one of the companies providing parts that attach to the rocket.
“This time we’re going back to learn, to live, and we are getting ready so we can send humans to Mars and even further out into the cosmos,” said Nelson during the tour.
The Kansas Aviation Museum has honored four Kansans in its Hall of Fame. Sauceda hopes future astronauts from the Air Capital will join this group.
“Hopefully, these young people can see that one day, this might be where we are at right now, but where can we be 20-30 years? When they’re the engineers, when they’re the adventurers of the world? So, I think this is going to be great for all of us,” said Sauceda.
The Kansas Aviation Museum will open its doors at 6:30 a.m. for its watch party. Coffee and water will be available. The Kansas Cosmosphere is hosting a watch party in Hutchinson at the Cosmo Cafe. Doors open at 7 a.m. and a buffet breakfast will be served to those who’d like to come and watch the launch on big screen TVs in Cosmosphere’s Grand Lobby.
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