Sailors assigned to Amphibious Construction Battalion (ACB) 1 transported the NASA Artemis I Orion spacecraft from the well deck of amphibious transport dock USS Portland (LPD 27) to a holding area onboard Naval Base San Diego (NBSD), Dec. 14, 2022, for further inspection following a successful recovery in the Pacific Ocean after a 25-day mission that went 1.3 million miles around the moon.
ACB 1 took the lead in the safe and professional offload of the Orion spacecraft from Portland, using an 11k SkyTrak Telehandler forklift with a proper trailer to transport the capsule to the inspection and holding area, with support from a police escort and the NASA Artemis I recovery team conducting constant visual inspections.
“I felt excited and honored to be a part of this once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Equipment Operator 2nd Class Venicia Taijeron, an ACB 1 crane operation supervisor. “The capsule came from space, and our very own [ACB 1] Alfa Company crane crew was tasked by the NASA Landing and Recovery team to transport the Artemis I Orion capsule off of the ship. Our team executed the transport to the same high standard we always expect, and I am proud of everyone involved.”
From NBSD, there will be further inspections of the spacecraft before its ground transport back to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The main goal of this mission was to demonstrate Orion’s operational systems, heat shield, and recovery tactics.
This operation was the continuation of a long-standing relationship between the U.S. Navy and NASA. Teams from both organizations, along with other partners, frequently train together in water recovery tactics, transportation and other operations. The Navy has many unique capabilities that make it an ideal partner for supporting NASA, including its amphibious and expeditionary capabilities with the ability to embark helicopters, launch and recover small boats, three-dimensional air search radar and advanced medical facilities. Portland, along with Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Montgomery (LCS 8), supported the spacecraft recovery while underway in U.S. 3rd Fleet, and ACB 1 was able to provide the vehicles, tools and personnel needed to complete the Orion spacecraft transport as required upon its return to San Diego.
The Artemis I mission is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions to build a long-term human presence at the moon for decades to come. The launch of the Orion capsule is the first of three anticipated launch and recoveries, with the goal of Artemis III being a manned flight with a lunar landing. This would be the first manned lunar landing since Apollo 17 in 1972.
ACB 1 is a Seabee unit headquartered in San Diego and is the U.S. Navy’s sole provider of Improved Navy Lighterage System capability. ACB 1 conducts ship-to-shore transportation, construction, and logistical support as an integral part of joint operations around the world.
ACB 1, Portland, and Montgomery are assigned to Expeditionary Strike Group. ESG 3 comprises four amphibious squadrons, 15 amphibious warships, and eight naval support elements including approximately 18,000 active-duty and reserve Sailors and Marines. As the deputy commander for amphibious and littoral warfare, U.S. 3rd Fleet, the ESG 3 commander also oversees Mine Countermeasures Group 3 and the 14 littoral combat ships and two subordinate divisions under Littoral Combat Ship Squadron 1. ESG 3 is postured in support of U.S. 3rd Fleet as a globally responsive and scalable naval command element, capable of generating, deploying, and employing naval forces and formations for crisis and contingency response, forward presence, and major combat operations focusing on amphibious operations, humanitarian and disaster relief and support to defense civil authorities, and expeditionary logistics.
|Date Posted:||12.16.2022 15:09|
|Location:||SAN DIEGO, CA, US|