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Meet two unsung heroes behind Victor Glover's history-making NASA mission

As Victor Glover, a NASA astronaut from Pomona, is on the brink of making history as the first Black man to venture around the moon aboard the Artemis II mission, the achievement holds particular significance for two aerospace professionals.

Floyd Shelby and Steven Fleming are key members at Aerospace Rocketdyne, a Canoga Park-based manufacturer in aerospace technologies, responsible for the rocket engines that will propel Glover and his crewmates.

“When Victor Glover embarks on his historic journey around the moon, it will be thanks to the efforts of Floyd Shelby and Steven Fleming,” remarked Shelby, the director of engineering at Aerojet Rocketdyne.

Fleming, a metal-fitting mechanic at Aerojet Rocketdyne, also echoed the commitment to supporting the Artemis II mission and understood the significance of sending the first Black astronaut to the moon.

“I met Glover years ago, and I told him, ‘I’m going to put everything into this to make sure you come home,’” Fleming recalled.

While the two men may work on the different intrinsic parts the rocket engines. they share one goal: getting the astronauts on the Orion spacecraft home safely back to families.

“The reliability, the trust that these four astronauts have — we’ve developed this product that will safely bring them there and back,” Shelby said.

In addition to being passionately focused on the Artemis II mission, Shelby and Fleming also serve as mentors to others, especially minority workers, in the aerospace industry.

“I think having people that look like you, can understand, make that connection with, it means a lot to further your career,” Shelby explained. “If there’s something I can do to help someone, I’m willing to jump into that.”

Fleming also offered a piece of advice to those dreaming big.

“Pursue their dreams. Stick with it no matter what,” Fleming said. “Put 100% into what you do because anything is possible.”

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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