It's time to go for launch.

When a rocket is close to going to space, words like these are used. A woman will be speaking for NASA on Wednesday after decades of American spaceflight.

The Artemis I rocket is currently on Launch Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and is ready to launch on Wednesday. The final decision will be made by Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, who has worked in spaceflight for more than three decades. The buck stops with her when she is the launch director.

The program that will take the first woman and the next man back to the moon is very special. I think it is pretty special to me.

At a news conference, she compared the Apollo and Artemis missions. There was only one woman in the firing room for Apollo 11. Thirty percent of the engineers in the firing room are women.

She said that there is a female presence in both the leadership of the program and the operations areas. The makeup of our workforce has changed over time.

Ms. Blackwell-Thompson is in charge of all countdown planning, training and procedures.

The team in Firing Room 1 of the launch control center will confirm that the rocket is ready for flight on launch day. NASA said in a news release that they will be watching and controlling the rocket before and after it starts. There have been many years of preparation.

Ms. Blackwell-Thompson received a degree in computer engineering from the University of South Carolina. She was a lead electrical engineer on multiple Hubble Space Telescope repair missions. She holds a number of patents on spaceflight systems.

She described the thrill of walking into Firing Room 1 for the first time in 1988 while visiting the Kennedy Space Center during a job interview with Boeing, and seeing staff prepare the space shuttle Discovery for its first mission after the Challenger disaster.

I would like to be a part of that team. She said that she was fortunate enough to get a seat in the room.

In January 2016 she was named NASA's first female launch director.

Women have played important roles in space missions. Four amateur astronauts were guided by the lead space operations engineer for the company.