Lowcountry Headlines

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WATCH: Boeing employee helped to build NASA’s Artemis I rocket

NASA Postpones Artemis I Launch Due To Technical Issue

Photo: Getty Images

“Yes, I was very excited to be one of the ones that was selected for the program to go build this Artemis one."

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Artemis I rocket is set for another launch attempt on Saturday afternoon. If successful, it will be the first spacecraft in 50 years to go to the moon.

Boeing is the prime contractor for Artemis and several team members from the Boeing North Charleston plant helped to build the rocket. One of them is a Stall High school graduate who grew up in North Charleston.

“Yes, I was very excited to be one of the ones that was selected for the program to go build this Artemis one,” Isaiah Ravenel said.

Ravenel has worked as a structures mechanic for Boeing for 13 years. His experience building airplanes, made him a great candidate to work on the next rocket program that will take humans to the moon.

“I build the engine core section. That’s the section where the four RS25 engines will be attached to the rocket going into space.”

Along with hundreds of others, he relocated to New Orleans from 2017 to 2020 to work at the Michoud Plant NASA facility building Artemis.

“Building this rocket, the Artemis I, knowing that it’s going to be the rocket that’s going to put the first woman back on the moon and the first person of color back on the moon, it’s an awesome experience,” Ravenel said.

So how did this 1986 Stall High School grad end up working on the next generation space program? He credits his 10 years of service in the Army.

“With radio and avionics and that took me to the career of aeronautics to work with Boeing and other aeronautic companies building aircrafts,” Ravenel said.

And now, he’s got a great experience to share with his family and friends about his contribution to the space program and the Artemis I rocket.

“Something I can sit back and tell my grandkids, say hey, Papa built that.”

The latest plan calls for a second launch attempt of the Artemis I rocket on Saturday. The launch window opens at 2:17 p.m. Ravenel says he will be keeping his fingers crossed for a successful launch.

According to its website:

Boeing is the prime contractor for the design, development, test and production of the launch vehicle core stage and upper stages, as well as development of the flight avionics suite.

The Boeing-built core stage for the Artemis I mission has completed a series of tests known as Green Run at the agency’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. It has been refurbished and delivered to Kennedy Space Center in Florida for integration with the rest of SLS. Meanwhile, Boeing is building the core stages for Artemis II and III.

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