Oklahomans Have Leading Roles In Next NASA Moon Mission

Wednesday, November 20th 2019, 7:45 pm
By: Amelia Mugavero

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said astronauts will be heading back to the moon, and Oklahoma’s own are going to help them get there.

NASA is sending astronauts to the moon again under a mission named Artemis.

Bridenstine spoke to the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce Nov. 20 about Artemis and how Oklahoma is leading the charge.

“Our chairman is Oklahoman, our NASA administrator is Oklahoman, so Oklahoma is well represented in NASA right now," Bridenstine said. 

He said the mission is different from Apollo. This time the U.S. will be going to the moon and staying there. It's all to prepare American astronauts to go to mars.

Bridenstine said NASA is partnering with commercial rocket builders and Oklahoma companies.

"There are a number of companies that build parts for our rockets and capsules,” said Bridestein. “There is definitely an economic impact when we go to the moon for the state of Oklahoma."

Blackhawk Industrial in Broken Arrow and Precision Fitting & Gauge Co. in Tulsa. both make or sell parts for other private companies.

"A lot of those private companies have components that are built right here in Tulsa for their rockets,” said Bridestein.

Bridenstine said he's excited for a new space mission that this generation can remember.

"Everyone loves NASA, it’s the best brand America has right now," he said.  

Bridenstine said a unmanned flight called Orion will blast off in 2020, with another launch with a crew expected to happen in 2024.