NASA’s Artemis I Mission Takes Flight Thanks to Red Crew Members
Huntsville, Ala., December 12, 2022 – ERC, a major subcontractor to Jacobs on the Test and Operations Support Contract (TOSC), wants to congratulate NASA on the successful launch of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft for the Artemis I mission! The ERC team has been intimately involved in every aspect of TOSC, from the beginning phases to the Red Crew saving the day.
The SLS is NASA’s first exploration-class rocket since Saturn V and the most powerful rocket to date, designed to evolve for missions to the moon, mars, and beyond. Artemis I is the first uncrewed test flight in a series of complex missions to build a long-term presence on the Moon. The duration of the Artemis I mission was 25 days, 11 hours, and 36 minutes. Yesterday, December 11th, the module re-entered earth at 24,500 mph and splashed down after having traveled 1.3 million miles.
As NASA’s Kennedy Space Center was preparing for the launch on Nov. 15th, the sensors detected a leak during fueling, similar to what caused mission control to scrub the previous launch attempts. The Artemis I mission managers made the decision to send in the “Red Crew”, a specialized team to deploy to the base of the fueled rocket to try and stop the liquid hydrogen leak at 10:12 p.m. ET. In order for the Red Crew to do their job, the team needed to drain off the liquid hydrogen from the leaking component. This task was extremely dangerous due to the complexity and nature of the elements.
The ERC Red Crew team members, Billy Cairns and Trenton Annis, Cryogenic Engineering Technicians, and Chad Garrett, Safety Engineer, had to tighten several bolts to troubleshoot a valve used to replenish the core stage with liquid hydrogen. These three employees were hailed as “heroes of the day” by NASA for their bravery and hard work to ensure Artemis I took flight.
ERC President of NASA Division, Jane Reutt commented, “I am so proud of the ERC team on the TOSC contract. This launch took the entire team from the folks in the background to the folks in the firing room. What an amazing night as we listened to the count down and realized that we were going to zero and launching. It’s been a long road for many of our employees, but the end result was breathtaking.”
Our ERC Red Crew team members “showed up” and got their job done, and we couldn’t be prouder.
ERC is a leading provider of mission-critical engineering, technical and consulting services to the space and defense markets. For over 30 years, ERC has worked closely with such customers as the U.S. Department of Defense, NASA, and other high-tech government entities on missions of national importance. ERC’s solutions combine precise engineering, innovative, deep subjective-matter expertise, firsthand mission understanding, and long-term customer knowledge to deliver the critical advantage needed to solve critical challenges. ERC’s 2,000 employees share a collaborative culture built on commitment, integrity teamwork, respect, and uncompromising performance, which enables best-in-class service and solutions for the company’s customers. For more information, go to erc.us. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.