Today, April 3rd, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) revealed the four astronauts that will go on a journey around the Moon in 2024 as part of the Artemis program. The last time humans traveled to the Moon was in 1972. Artemis will pave the way for humanity to someday build a permanent base on the Moon’s surface. In December 2022, NASA performed the program’s first mission, Artemis I, which was an uncrewed demonstration of how NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft will transport astronauts towards the Moon. During the upcoming Artemis II mission, SLS will propel Orion to lunar orbit with the crew of four astronauts that were announced today. The crew will not set foot on the Moon, only fly around it to demonstrate the spacecraft's technologies ahead of the actual lunar landing mission. Astronauts will not land on the Moon until Artemis III, which will require Orion to dock to SpaceX’s Starship Human Landing System (HLS) which is currently under development.
Here they are. @SenBillNelson announces the #Artemis II crew, the next astronauts to fly around the Moon:@Astro_Christina@Astro_Jeremy@AstroVicGlover@Astro_Reid— NASA (@NASA) April 3, 2023
We go together. https://t.co/XdUizg2Wye pic.twitter.com/6Yo4I2lKeJ
“The Artemis II crew represents thousands of people working tirelessly to bring us to the stars. This is their crew, this is our crew, this is humanity's crew,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “NASA astronauts Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover, and Christina Hammock Koch, and CSA astronaut Jeremy Hansen, each has their own story, but, together, they represent our creed: E pluribus unum – out of many, one. Together, we are ushering in a new era of exploration for a new generation of star sailors and dreamers – the Artemis Generation,” said Nelson. The Artemis II mission will be a 10-day flight test during which the astronauts will “prove the Orion spacecraft’s life-support systems, and validate the capabilities and techniques needed for humans to live and work in deep space.” U.S. President Joe Biden called the Artemis II crew to congratulate them, listen to the phone call in the video clip linked below.
The @NASA Artemis II crewed mission around the Moon will inspire the next generation of explorers, and show every child – in America, in Canada, and across the world – that if they can dream it, they can be it. pic.twitter.com/X8q3GLTBiQ— President Biden (@POTUS) April 3, 2023
“For the first time in more than 50 years, these individuals – the Artemis II crew – will be the first humans to fly to the vicinity of the Moon. Among the crew are the first woman, first person of color, and first Canadian on a lunar mission, and all four astronauts will represent the best of humanity as they explore for the benefit of all,” said Director Vanessa Wyche, NASA Johnson. “This mission paves the way for the expansion of human deep space exploration and presents new opportunities for scientific discoveries, commercial, industry and academic partnerships and the Artemis Generation.”
MEET THE ARTEMIS II ASTRONAUTS
The Commander of the Artemis II mission is NASA Astronaut Reid Wiseman (47 years old) who has served the U.S. Navy as an aviator. In 2014, he worked as a Flight Engineer at the International Space Station (ISS). During his 165-day Expedition 41 mission he performed science research and a spacewalk. He also served as the NASA Chief of the Astronaut Office.
...and rounding out our #Artemis II Moon crew: mission commander @Astro_Reid!— NASA (@NASA) April 3, 2023
Reid Wiseman lived & worked aboard the @Space_Station as a flight engineer in 2014. He also commanded the undersea research mission NEEMO21, and most recently served as Chief of the @NASA_Astronauts. pic.twitter.com/AincR66wpf
The Artemis II Pilot is NASA Astronaut Victor Glover (46 years old), who recently traveled for the first time to space in November 2020 as part of SpaceX’s Crew-1 mission to the ISS where he worked as Flight Engineer for Expedition 64. Glover served as Captain in the U.S. Navy and is an experienced aviator with extensive aircraft knowledge. He has served the U.S. military both in combat and peacetime. Glover was selected as a NASA astronaut in 2013 while serving as a Legislative Fellow in the United States Senate.
Our #Artemis II pilot is @AstroVicGlover!— NASA (@NASA) April 3, 2023
Victor Glover is part of our 2013 class of @NASA_Astronauts and was the pilot for NASA’s @SpaceX Crew-1 mission. He’s logged 3,000 flight hours in more than 40 different aircraft, and will pilot @NASA_Orion around the Moon. pic.twitter.com/P0zJ8pwaeL
A female NASA astronaut is also part of the Artemis II mission – Christina Hammock Koch (44 years old) – will make history as the first woman to ever go on a voyage around the Moon. She is a veteran astronaut who served as flight engineer on the Space Station for Expedition 59, 60 and 61. Koch set a record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman with a total of 328 days in space and participated in the first all-female spacewalks. She will serve as Mission Specialist for the Artemis II mission.
Meet the first member of our #Artemis II Moon crew: mission specialist @Astro_Christina!— NASA (@NASA) April 3, 2023
Christina Koch visited the @Space_Station in 2019, where she took part in the first all-woman spacewalk. She began her career as an electrical engineer at @NASAGoddard. pic.twitter.com/mi82SayXUm
The first Canadian astronaut who will go on a voyage around the Moon aboard Orion is Jeremy Hansen (47 years old). It will be his first trip to outer space. He has served as a Royal Canadian Air Force Captain, colonel, and fighter pilot. “We are going back to the Moon and Canada is at the center of this exciting journey,” said the Honorable François-Philippe Champagne, the minister responsible for the Canadian Space Agency. “Thanks to our longstanding collaboration with NASA, a Canadian astronaut will fly on this historic mission. On behalf of all Canadians, I want to congratulate Jeremy for being at the forefront of one of the most ambitious human endeavors ever undertaken. Canada’s participation in the Artemis program is not only a defining chapter of our history in space, but also a testament to the friendship and close partnership between our two nations.”
Representing the @csa_asc on #Artemis II to the Moon is @Astro_Jeremy, from London, Ontario.— NASA (@NASA) April 3, 2023
Jeremy Hansen was a fighter pilot before joining CSA, and currently works with NASA on astronaut training and mission operations. This will be Hansen’s first mission in space. pic.twitter.com/zIVetAQeFE
If all goes according to plan, the third Artemis mission will land a lucky pair of yet-to-be announced astronauts on the lunar surface as soon as 2025. NASA selected SpaceX to develop the lunar-optimized Starship Human Landing System that will land astronauts on the Moon as part of the Artemis III mission. NASA’s Orion spacecraft will be capable of docking with SpaceX’s Starship HLS in lunar orbit, where a pair of astronauts – a woman and a man – will transfer into HLS to set foot on the Moon while the other pair monitors the mission from lunar orbit. Starship is still under development and will perform multiple test flights before transporting humans. SpaceX’s debut orbital Starship flight test is planned for this year.
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All Featured Images Source: NASA
About the Author
Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.