NASA Introduces the Four Astronauts for the Artemis-2 Moon Mission
The US space agency NASA, has identified the four astronauts who will return humanity to the Moon after a 50-year absence. In a ceremony in Houston, Texas, the three US residents and one Canadian were introduced to the world.
The astronauts will not land on the Moon, but their journey will clear the way for the next crew to do so.
Christina Koch will be the first female astronaut to be assigned to a lunar journey, and Victor Glover will be the first black astronaut to orbit the moon. They will work alongside Reid Wiseman and Canadian Jeremy Hansen to orbit the spacecraft around the Moon late next year.
The astronauts will not land on the Moon, but their journey will clear the way for a subsequent crew to do so in Artemis-3. They will now commence a period of intense training to prepare for the moon mission.
The NASA Astronauts Going to the Moon
Reid Wiseman (47): A US Navy pilot who served for a time as the head of NASA’s astronaut office. He’s flown one previous space mission, to the International Space station in 2015.
Victor Glover (46): A US Navy test pilot. He joined NASA in 2013 and made his first spaceflight in 2020. He was the first African American to stay on the space station for an extended period of six months.
Christina Koch (44): An electrical engineer. She holds the record for longest continuous time in space by a woman, of 328 days. With NASA astronaut Jessica Meir she participated in the first all-female spacewalk in October 2019.
Jeremy Hansen (47): Before joining the Canadian Space Agency, he was a fighter pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force. He has yet to fly in space.
“The Artemis-2 crew embodies thousands of people who have worked tirelessly to bring us to the stars.” “This is their crew, our crew, humanity’s crew,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said.
“While NASA astronauts Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover, and Christina Hammock Koch, as well as Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen, each have their own stories, they all represent our creed: E Pluribus Unum – out of many, one.” We’re ushering in a new period of exploration for a new breed of star sailors and dreamers known as the Artemis breed,”Bill Nelson said.
Reid Wiseman will be the commander, Victor Glover will be his pilot, and Christina Hammock Koch and Canadian Jeremy Hansen will serve as “mission specialists.” The quartet is basically replicating Apollo 8, which was the first human spaceflight to reach the Moon in 1968.
Its crew captured the famous “Earthrise” photograph, which revealed our planet emerging from behind the lunar horizon. The Artemis-2 pilot will be navy aviator Victor Glover.
The main change this time will be the use of 21st Century technology developed by NASA through its Artemis program. Artemis was Apollo’s twin sister in Greek legend. The agency tried its next-generation Moon rocket, known as the Space Launch System, and its associated crew capsule, known as Orion, last year.
This Artemis-1 expedition took off from Earth on a 25-day journey around the Moon with no one on board. This enabled engineers to evaluate the hardware’s readiness.
The recently named astronauts will now board the Orion spacecraft for Artemis-2 and a 10-day journey to and from the Moon.
Apollo 17, the last human spaceflight trip to the Moon, took place in December 1972. Apollo 11 was the first to arrive in 1969.
The first landing of the new era, Artemis-3, is not anticipated to happen for at least a year after Artemis-2.
NASA does not currently have a system capable of transporting humans to the lunar surface. SpaceX, the business founded by entrepreneur Elon Musk, is working on this. The vehicle, dubbed Starship, is set to begin flight trials in the coming weeks.
“We need to celebrate this moment in human history because Artemis-2 is more than a mission to the Moon and back; it’s more than a mission that has to happen before we send people to the Moon’s surface; it’s the next step on the journey that will take humanity to Mars,” Victor Glover said at the Houston ceremony.
“Are you excited?” Christina Koch asked, “because the one thing I’m most excited about is that we’re going to carry your excitement, aspirations, and dreams with us on this mission, Artemis-2 – your mission.”
Vanessa Wyche is the head of NASA’s Johnson Space Flight Center, which serves as the mission control centre. She stated:
“The first woman, first person of color, and first Canadian on a lunar mission are among the [Artemis-2] crew, and all four astronauts will represent the best of humanity as they explore for the benefit of all.”