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Maine company supplied parts for Artemis I, Orion Spacecraft to launch next week

WCSH-TV Portland, ME 11/7/2022 Jake Richards
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In an effort to return to the moon, NASA plans to launch their Space Launch System (SLS) Rocket there and back on Nov. 14. The launch will be a test mission known as Artemis I and will not have a crew onboard. 

Elmet Technologies, based in Lewiston, had a hand in manufacturing some of the parts that went into the Orion Spacecraft affixed to the top of the SLS.

“We’ve been making products for spacecraft for a number of years. They’re just not very visible products,” Dan Drinan, quality director at Elmet Technologies, said. 

Elmet Technologies made tungsten ballast weights to be used for the heat shield on the spacecraft. 

“Balancing and ballast weights are used on aircraft and spacecraft and are pretty common applications. Tungsten is an ideal material for that because you get a lot of density, a lot of weight in a small package,” Drinan said. 

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Elmet Technologies is the only U.S.-owned company that makes products like this, from raw materials all the way to the finished product. 

“It’s great to take the products that you make and see the end use and know that you’re contributing to something that’s, you know, very big programs that are helping our country and the world. So, it’s really exciting to be a part of that,” Drinan said. 

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