Team celebrates 1 year since historic moon mission

NASA honors Boeing on the first anniversary of successful Artemis I launch

November 16, 2023 in Space, Defense

At 1:47 a.m. Eastern time on November 16, 2022, NASA made history with the successful launch of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket for the inaugural Artemis I mission to the moon.

The Artemis I mission launched the first spacecraft to orbit the moon in almost 50 years and was a test flight to validate the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft components and systems.

Mike Sarafin, NASA’s Artemis I mission manager, called the mission “eye watering” as the SLS rocket met or exceeded all expectations during the launch.

Today – one year later – NASA recognized the Boeing team for their dedication and contributions to the Artemis I launch and mission.

Teams gathered for a ceremony at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana, where Boeing builds the core stages, upper stages and avionics for the SLS rocket.

As a token of appreciation for Boeing’s work on the SLS rocket and continued partnership in making the inaugural Artemis mission a success, NASA leadership presented Boeing teammates with an Artemis appreciation banner and items flown in-space from the Artemis I mission.

NASA presented Artemis appreciation banner to Boeing. Left to right: Mike Sarafin (NASA), Reid Wiseman (NASA Astronaut), Dave Dutcher (Boeing), Steve Snell (Boeing), Christina Koch (NASA Astronaut), Jeremy Hansen (NASA Astronaut), John Honeycutt (NASA), Julie Bassler (NASA)

In celebration of this anniversary, Boeing announced a $100,000 grant to the Greater New Orleans Development Foundation. The non-profit provides economic resources throughout the ten parishes in Southeast Louisiana.

Boeing’s funding will be used to support their flagship STEM programing, which includes internships and mentorships for women and students attending historically black colleges and universities ─ fostering a robust talent pipeline to help fill future opportunities at the Michoud Assembly Facility.

“I am so proud of the work Team Boeing does across all our sites in support of the Artemis program, and I am thrilled to announce this $100,000 grant to the Greater New Orleans Development Foundation as an investment in our Louisiana community. This grant will help expand opportunities to help students build critical skills in industry-relevant areas of study, in order to develop workforce-ready talent and increase lasting diversity within the aerospace industry,” shared Dave Dutcher, Vice President and Program Manager for Boeing’s SLS program.

Senior leadership from Boeing shown presenting a $100,000 Boeing grant to the Greater New Orleans Development Foundation of GNO, Inc. From left to right, Tina Watts (Boeing), Dave Dutcher (Boeing), Daphine Barnes (GNO Inc.) and Michael Hecht (GNO Inc.)

Boeing will host additional appreciation events at the other Boeing and NASA facilities to celebrate and recognize the rest of the SLS teammates in-person.


NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket – the nation’s next-generation, human-rated rocket – will enable NASA’s Artemis program and will carry people and cargo to the moon, Mars and beyond. Boeing was selected by NASA to design, develop, test and produce the core stages, upper stages, and avionics suite for the SLS fleet of rockets. The first SLS rocket – featuring the Boeing-built Core Stage – successfully launched at 1:47 AM ET on November 16, 2022, as part of the Artemis I Mission. Production is currently underway for the Boeing-built core stages, upper stages (including Exploration Upper Stage) and avionics for future Artemis missions. Read more about SLS.