Officials from NASA and the Canadian Space Agency announced the team of astronauts who will be the crew for the upcoming Artemis II mission to the moon.
The four-person international crew, introduced at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, consists of Commander Reid Wiseman, Pilot Victor Glover, Mission Specialist Christina Hammock Koch, and Mission Specialist Jeremy Hansen of the Canada Space Agency.
“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,” said Director Vanessa Wyche, NASA Johnson, in the space agency’s press release. “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.”
Artemis II is scheduled for launch in late 2024.
The Four Astronauts
Wiseman spent 165 days as a flight engineer on the International Space Station (ISS) and completed a record 82 hours of research in a single week while in orbit. He also logged 13 hours of spacewalking during his mission. He shared his thoughts on his experience on the International Space Station’s Twitter account.
"I never imagined in my entire life getting to see something that beautiful." In this episode of “Down to Earth – It’s Alive,” @Astro_Reid explains how seeing Earth from space compared to his expectations during his time aboard the space station #SpaceStation20th pic.twitter.com/EcFj933JJL
— International Space Station (@Space_Station) November 4, 2019
Before being selected as an astronaut, Glover served as a legislative fellow in the U.S. Senate. He has participated in the SpaceX program as a pilot and second-in-command as well as spending time on the ISS.
In the excerpt posted to Twitter at @Space_Station below, he talks to his daughter on the podcast Down to Earth about his time in space and the important lessons he brought back home.
— International Space Station (@Space_Station) February 18, 2023
Koch has served as a flight engineer on the ISS on three expeditions. She also set a record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman, having logged 328 days in space and participated on the first all-female spacewalk.
She has often tweeted from space, and in this post at @Astro_Christina, she immortalized the historic spacewalk when it happened in October 2019.
— Christina H Koch (@Astro_Christina) October 20, 2019
Hansen is making his first trip to space. He is a colonel in the Canadian Armed Forces and a former fighter pilot with a degree in space science and a masters in physics from Royal Military College of Canada. He has served as capcom at NASA’s Mission Control Center at Johnson Space Center and was the first Canadian to lead the training of a NASA astronaut class.
In a tweet at @Astro_Jeremy, he says he is honored to represent Canada on the mission.
I’m excited to leverage my experience, training, and knowledge to take on this challenging mission. I am honoured to represent Canada on Artemis II!
— Jeremy R. Hansen (@Astro_Jeremy) April 3, 2023
The Artemis II Mission
The Artemis II mission is the next step in NASA’s plan to establish a long-term presence on the Moon for science and exploration. The hope, NASA said in its press release, is for the agency and other international scientists to learn more about the lunar surface than ever. They’ll then use that knowledge to take the next natural leap — sending astronauts to Mars.
The approximately 10-day-long mission will serve to test the Orion service module and how it performs in a variety of situations as the crew makes a figure-eight path between the Earth and the Moon. Artemis II is the first manned spaceflight to the moon since the Apollo missions in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Good luck to the entire crew!