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For the past several years, scientists have been hard at work in the remote northern Utah desert west of Tremonton, designing and testing key components of the rocket that blasted off toward the moon on Nov. 16.

With a long history as one of the main contractors working with NASA on the U.S. space program, it was only fitting that several members of the team at Northrop Grumman Corp.’s Promontory facilities in Box Elder County were among the crowd of thousands who gathered on the east coast of Florida in the early morning hours to witness the liftoff of Artemis I, the first lunar mission in 50 years.

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