“It’s been almost 50 years since we last stepped on the moon … We’re preparing to bring people back to the moon and beyond, to Mars,” Ayer told TOI.
Artemis I will be deployed on the Orion spacecraft, the first of three complex missions to explore the moon and Mars. Orion will travel 280,000 miles (over 4,550 km) from Earth, thousands of miles beyond the moon in a three-week mission. At that time, it will collect data while mission controllers review the spacecraft̵
As Boeing-led product team, Ayer is committed to the Artemis I component that will take Orion into space – the Space Launch System (SLS) – whose main stage arrived at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in late April. He has been working with SLS for two years now.
“SLS is the most powerful rocket in the world … Boeing is responsible for building the main stage of the rocket, which contains the main propulsion system and avionics (electronic systems). It is designed to run for about 500 seconds, reaching 530,000 feet in height before detaching. “My role includes overseeing any post-production support that NASA needs once the ground phase is built and handed over to NASA,” Ayer said. “The main parts of the Artemis I missile were built and tested separately. My Boeing team … will support NASA at the Kennedy Space Center with assembly, integration and testing. We will also monitor the display of data and provide support on the day of launch. “The launch is scheduled for November this year.
Ayer was one of the first women to graduate in mechanical engineering at her college, VLB Janakiammal College, in 1992. “I was the fourth batch of my mechanical engineering college and one of the first women to do so. When I settled in, I was the only woman in my account. I was asked to find another woman “for safety.” I had to convince a friend, “she said.
She now leads a diverse team of mechanical and electrical engineers. “With the launch of the SLS, engineers are involved who have been part of the human space exploration program for 30-40 years after the shuttle days. There are engineers who are new. “I also have the pleasure of leading women and people from different countries,” she said. “My manager – director of production, testing and launch – is a woman. Her manager – vice president of space and launching equipment – is also. The director of NASA SLS and the head of NASA’s main stage are women … It was great to see more women in this field. “