NASA announces crew for next moon mission

Reading Time: 2 minutes Artemis II, comprised of a four-member crew, is expected to launch in late 2024.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), in collaboration with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), on April 2 announced the names of the astronauts who will comprise the crew for the Artemis II space exploration.

During an event at Ellington Field, near NASA’s space center in Houston, the organization also shed light on the details of the make-up and goals of the long-awaited moon exploration project. Commander, Reid Wiseman, was named alongside Pilot Victor Glover, and Christina Koch of NASA, as well as Jeremy Hansen of the CSA as the chosen astronauts for the mission.

NASA administrator, Bill Nelson, according to an organization press release explained, “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.” He continued, “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.”

The Artemis II mission is scheduled to be a 10-day expedition solely around the moon and back for the process of discovery, innovation, and information gathering ahead of future, more crucial space exploration projects, and is not expected to launch till Nov. 2024 at the earliest. The mission will also represent the first human in-person venture past Earth’s adjacent regions and that deep into space since Apollo 17 in Dec. 1972, making the crew the first humans to fly towards the moon in over 50 years.

Amongst other historic contexts, the expedition will also see Pilot Glover become the first Black man assigned as a crew member on the international space station. Glover, alongside Mission Specialist Koch, become  the first person of color and woman respectively to fly toward the moon.

In a statement from the press release, Director Vanessa Wyche, of the NASA Johnson Space Center remarked,

“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.” She continued, “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.”

The Artemis II expedition is also expected to be a precursor to an even more seminal future space voyage, the Artemis III, which will send astronauts to the face of the moon again for the first time since the 1970s, both preceding the ultimate goal of sending humans to Mars for the first time.

In light of the historic announcement, U.S. President Joe Biden spoke to the crew to congratulate them and wish them well on their expedition. – Embed this link that takes you to a twitter post.For more information visit the official NASA website