Human Spaceflight Returns to US Soil for the First Time Since 2011
In honor of NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission launch of two American astronauts to the International Space Station, explore how we’re partnering across NASA to further their important missions. (Photo credit: Ryan Bale)
Today, at 3:22 p.m. EDT, NASA and SpaceX launched the Commercial Crew capsule called Dragon, lifting off from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, taking two American astronauts to the International Space Station. This marks the first time NASA has been able to fly their astronauts on an American spacecraft from American soil since the space shuttle was retired in 2011. Congratulations to NASA and SpaceX!
Our Jacobs teams process and service payloads bound for the International Space Station, including critical environmental control and life support systems. We also support the Station’s on-orbit operations from our Mission Control support at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
This year, NASA is celebrating 20 years of continuous human presence on the Station. Sixteen nations including Canada, Japan, Russia and the European Space Agency have been collaborating with NASA on this successful program. Those nations plus many others have been invited by NASA to join in the next Human Space Flight Program called Artemis. Artemis aims to land the first woman and next man on the moon in 2024.
The Artemis missions will be launched on NASA’s Orion crew capsule atop the Space Launch System, and supported by the Ground Exploration Systems Program. Jacobs is proud to be providing critical technical support to all elements of the Artemis program.
Jacobs is the Artemis prime contractor at Kennedy Space Center for Exploration Ground Systems. We are responsible for processing and integrating flight hardware for launch and recovery of all the missions. Jacobs is also supporting the Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft development through our contracts at Marshall Space Flight Center, Johnson Space Center, White Sands Test Facility, Langley Research Center and the Glenn Research Center, as well as project support at Stennis Space Center and Michoud Assembly Facility.
We recently received a 97% award fee score at NASA Langley, sustaining our superior level of performance in supporting the NASA mission.
In addition, NASA recently awarded Jacobs an extension to the Johnson Space Center Engineering, Technology and Science contract. Under the leadership of Dr. Joy Kelly, Jacobs will support the Orion Crew Capsule, the new Gateway outpost which will orbit the Moon, a next generation Moon lunar spacesuit, and we will also continue to provide important support to the International Space Station, supporting commercial cargo missions, on-orbit operations, and commercial crew program efforts as part of this contract extension.
The extension of the Johnson Space Center contract is another demonstration of the long and mutually beneficial relationship between Jacobs and NASA. Jacobs is the largest technical services contractor supporting NASA, and our relationship is foundational to the growth and success Jacobs has achieved in the aerospace and defense market.
We are also growing our business with other space agencies. As part of the legacy KeyW business, we recently won an important national security contract to build an innovative space payload. Our work on the development of next generation affordable space-based technology will drive future growth in this important arena.
Together, with NASA, International and commercial partners, we are helping to solve the biggest challenges of exploring our universe.
Check out recently published article by ENR Southwest about what NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission could mean for Jacobs and other contractors. Jacobs provides broad support for the accelerated work to meet the current administration’s mandate to return to the moon in 2024 under NASA’s Artemis program.