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News | April 10, 2023

DCMA St. Petersburg sets stage for next Artemis mission

By Jason Kaneshiro DCMA Eastern Region Public Affairs

Hot off the success of the Artemis I launch in November 2022, work is underway for the next Artemis mission that will bring humankind closer to returning to the Moon.

Defense Contract Management Agency St. Petersburg is playing a critical role to ensure key components of the spacecraft are ready for the first crewed lunar mission in more than half a century, which is scheduled for November 2024.

“The first in a series of increasingly complex missions, Artemis I was the first un-crewed integrated flight test of NASA’s Orion Spacecraft and Space Launch System Rocket,” said Miles McQueeney, supervisory quality assurance specialist at DCMA St. Petersburg.

Quality assurance specialists provided evening and weekend overtime support conducting numerous NASA Government Mandatory Inspection Points, or GMIP, for incoming inspection and photograph, rework, testing, hardware acceptance reviews, and packaging.

“Our team, and many others like it, provides NASA oversight of their extensive supplier base,” McQueeney said. “The avionic components our team surveil provide space location, guidance, and navigational control of the spacecraft, critical to mission success.”

Many of the same components are being manufactured and tested for additional Orion flightworthy capsules and many things have been learned and improved upon, he said.

“NASA improved component design as production and testing provided real-world data and suppliers tightened their production and testing schedule forecasts,” McQueeney said. “This allowed DCMA to provide a just-in-time GMIP approach.”

The Department of Defense has performed contract administration services and audit services in support of NASA contracts since the signing of a 1969 agreement between the two agencies.

The Artemis program intends to reestablish human presence on the moon for the first time since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.