NASA names four astronauts for Artemis II — first manned moon mission in 50 years

Artemis 2 mission crew
The crew of NASA’s Artemis II mission (left to right) NASA astronauts Christina Hammock Koch, Reid Wiseman (seated), Victor Glover, and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen. (Image Credit: NASA)

NASA has revealed the names of the astronauts for its historic Artemis II mission, which is planned for late 2024. This will be the first crewed moon mission in five decades since Apollo 17 mission in 1972.

The United States space agency NASA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) announced the four astronauts during an event at Ellington Field near NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

“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. The mission includes three Americans and one Canadian. “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.”

Astronauts: The mission’s commander, Reid Wiseman, will be joined by Victor Glover, an African American naval aviator; Canada’s Jeremy Hansen, a former fighter pilot who is making his first flight to space and Christina Koch, who holds the world record for the longest spaceflight by a woman. Wiseman, Glover, and Koch have all lived on the International Space Station. All four are in their 40s.

“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.

Artemis II mission 

The four astronauts will venture around the Moon for science and exploration. The 10-day Artemis II flight test will launch on the agency’s powerful Space Launch System rocket, prove the Orion spacecraft’s life-support systems, and validate the capabilities and techniques needed for humans to live and work in deep space, according to NASA.

Artemis 2 mission
Artemis II is the first crewed mission on NASA’s path to establishing a long-term presence on the Moon for science and exploration. (Image Credit: NASA)
What NASA’s Artemis mission aims to achieve?

The Artemis II mission will build on Artemis I, the uncrewed test mission that sent NASA’s Orion capsule to the Moon. Orion spent 25.5 days in space before returning to Earth, completing the mission in December 2022.

Artemis I is the first in a series of complex missions that will enable human exploration to the Moon and Mars. Under Artemis, NASA will send new lunar science instruments and technology to study the Moon and establish a long-term lunar presence and a station called Gateway for a habitable Moon base.

  • Artemis 1 was an uncrewed test flight completed in December.
  • Artemis 2 will be a crewed flight that will take four astronauts the furthest they’ve ever been in space.
  • Artemis 3 mission is expected to return humans to the surface of the moon for the first time by 2026.
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