NASA Administrator Bill Nelson and Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy will visit the agency’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans on Wednesday, Dec. 8, for tours and briefings on the facility’s vital role in NASA’s exploration missions. Michoud is NASA’s rocket factory, building components for the Space Launch System (SLS)rocket and Orion spacecraft that will return humans to the Moon. This event marks Nelson and Melroy’s first time to visit Michoud in their current roles.

Media are invited to join Nelson and Melroy as they tour the 43-acre manufacturing facility and speak with NASA engineers and subject matter experts.

Since 1961, Michoud has been the nation’s premiere site for manufacturing and assembly of large-scale space structures. The facility has a vital role in the planned Artemis missions, building the core stage for SLS and the pressure vessel for Orion, and currently producing hardware for the Artemis II through Artemis IV missions.

The integrated system of SLS and Orion is currently stacked together at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and is entering the final phase of testing and preparations for an upcoming uncrewed flight test around the Moon. The mission will pave the way for a future flight test with crew before NASA establishes a regular cadence of more complex missions with astronauts on and around the Moon under Artemis.

Nelson and Melroy will also highlight the appropriations NASA secured in the recently-passed funding law to help Michoud repair damage caused by Hurricane Ida.

Following the tour, Nelson and Melroy will be available for a question-and-answer session with attending media. Media interested in covering their visit should contact Michoud Strategic Communications Lead Craig Betbeze at or 504-419-5333 no later than noon Tuesday, Dec. 7. Media must report to the Michoud Visitors Center at Building 101,13800 Old Gentilly Rd., by 1:10 p.m. CST. Members of the communications team will meet and escort media to the tour location. Media will need photo identification to access the facility and will be on-site until 2:50 p.m. CST.

All visitors to NASA facilities are required to complete a COVID-19 form attesting to their vaccination status. Those who are not fully vaccinated or decline to provide their vaccination status, must provide a negative COVID-19 test conducted within the previous 72 hours. Masks are required for unvaccinated persons. 

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