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A NASA Moon exploration rocket launched on Nov. 16 has a Winfield connection through a local manufacturing facility.
Lindsey Sawyer, program manager at Galaxy Technologies, said the company manufactured some of the tools used to make parts for the Artemis I Moon rocket, through their partnership as a supplier for Boeing. Galaxy has also provided tools for other projects that are part of the NASA Space Launch System, a super heavy-lift launch vehicle used for expeditions to the Moon and other locations in outer space.
Sawyer said that Galaxy has supported NASA programs for several years and also provides support for Blue Origin, a privately funded aerospace manufacturer and spaceflight services company based in Kent, Wash.
Galaxy Technologies began 35 years ago making tools in support of Rubbermaid, Sawyer said. They became involved in making tools around 1998 for Raytheon in Wichita, and from there provided support for other aerospace facilities, including Spirit and Lockheed.
Being a supplier for NASA has its perks. Galaxy president Paul Maples attended an Artemis I launch party in Huntsville, Ala., and staff also get to see their hard work pay off.
“When you work on something day in and day out, it’s cool to see it come to life, and see it in the media,” Sawyer said.
During the mission, 10 small satellites will be deployed to study the Moon or locations farther away. Artemis I is expected to return to Earth on Dec. 11.
U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) recently recognized the Kansas suppliers for the Artemis I in a press release.
“Congratulations to NASA and Kansas suppliers on a successful Artemis I launch from the Kennedy Space Center,” Moran said. “As the top appropriator for NASA, I have spent the last several years traveling to NASA equities and suppliers across Kansas and the nation who have spent years working to advance the Artemis Mission. To see the successful launch from the Kennedy Space Center was humbling knowing the dedication and talent that was years in the making to reach this accomplishment. Sixteen suppliers across Kansas helped make this mission a success, and many more will be involved in the years to come.”