ARTEMIS MISSION UPDATE: NASA Structural Engineer Jesse Berdis Talks With Steve Wilson On ‘0’ deck of Mobile Launcher 1
By Steve Wilson // July 31, 2023
Berdis is Deputy Project Manager for Mobile Launcher I Artemis II
WATCH: In the third of a series entitled “ARTEMIS – Future of Tomorrow,” Steve Wilson had the opportunity to talk with NASA Structural Engineer Jesse Berdis, with the Exploration Ground Systems Program (EGS) working on the Mobile Launcher 1, which supports the Artemis missions.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – In the third of a series entitled “ARTEMIS – Future of Tomorrow,” I had the opportunity to talk with NASA Structural Engineer Jesse Berdis, with the Exploration Ground Systems Program (EGS) working on the Mobile Launcher 1, which supports the Artemis missions.
The location for my interview with Berdis was the deck of Mobile Launcher 1 (ML1). The numbers of ML1 are staggering.
The total height above ground is 400 feet. I was standing on “0” deck which is 47 feet off the ground. As I looked up, I saw the tower which is 40 feet square and 345 feet tall. The approximate weight of ML1 is 11.3 million pounds.
Berdis and everyone working on ML1 are preparing for the launch of Artemis II, which will be a crewed mission, scheduled for launch in late 2024.
Safety is paramount, and that came through in my conversation with Berdis.
I asked Berdis about the difference in preparation for Artemis I and Artemis II. He said, “We are preparing all our systems through modifications and testing to make sure the crew is safe at all times.” Berdis talked at length about the new technology that is being developed, which will make this the safest mission yet.
In talking with Berdis, who is Deputy Project Manager for ML1, Artemis II, I could tell he is very proud of what they are doing and confident in their ability. He told me, “The people that are the most experienced people in the world as to how processing works and launch works, the smartest and brightest people, those are the people we have out here.” He went on to say, “The ML is strong, our people are strong, we have the right people working this. We will be ready for Artemis II, and our team is ready for this.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Steve Wilson was born in DeRidder, Louisiana and grew up in both New Orleans and Macon, Georgia. He moved to Brevard County in 1984 and retired from local government as the Community Advocate/Assistant to the City Manager with the City of Rockledge in 2018.
Among the awards and accolades Steve has received over the years are 15 + year Rockledge Little League volunteer, Brevard Public School Jefferson Award Recipient, Rockledge High School Raider Booster Award 2001, 2006, City of Rockledge Employee of the Year 2006, Rockledge Kiwanian of the Year 2006-2007, City of Rockledge Quality Public Service Award 2008, 2012, 2017, Rockledge Kiwanis Citizen of the Year 2012-2013, Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame – Sportscasting 2015, Rockledge High School Leadership and Service Award 2016, Central Florida Humanitarian Award 2017, Space Coast Inspiration Award – 2018 and Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame – Lifetime Achievement – 2020.
Wilson is especially proud of is chairing two fundraisers in support of pediatric cancer research through the St. Baldrick’s Foundation in honor of Merritt Island resident Julie Spurlock that raised over $25,000.00.
He has been a partner, along with Orville Susong, for the past 24 years with the Friday Night Locker Room, a broadcasting team that covers and reports on a wide variety of local events that are of significance to the residents of the Space Coast and beyond. Their mission is to promote youth sports, support first responders and law enforcement personnel, and showcase community and charitable events that are produced by our nonprofit partners in central Florida.
The Friday Night Locker Room has awarded hundreds of sports achievement plaques to Brevard County student-athletes over the years. They have also awarded more than $18,000 in academic scholarships to Brevard County high school seniors.