NASA selects astronauts to go to the moon in 2024
The Artemis II mission continues to take shape.
NASA has selected astronauts for the Artemis II mission, which aims to return humans to orbit the Moon in more than 50 years. There will be four of them in total: Americans Victor Glover, Christina Hammock Koch and Reed Wiseman, as well as Canadian Jeremy Hansen, who represents the space agency of his country.
Times and society have changed significantly since NASA undertook the first lunar missions, and this is also reflected in the chosen astronauts. Artemis II is all about inclusion, so Christina Gammock Koch will be the first woman to orbit the Moon and Victor Glover the first person of color.
“For the first time in over 50 years, these people, the Artemis II crew, will be the first people to fly in close proximity to the Moon. The crew includes the first woman, the first person of color and the first Canadian to fly a lunar mission, and all four astronauts will represent the best of humanity."
On NASA's side, they wanted to make it clear that while the four astronauts will be the most visible faces of Artemis II, behind them is a team of thousands of people who are working to get humanity to take a close look at its natural satellite again.
“The crew of the Artemis II represents thousands of people who work tirelessly to get us to the stars. This is their crew, this is our crew, this is the crew of humanity.”
The experience of four astronauts who will orbit the moon
Some of the Artemis II astronauts already have previous space travel experience. For example, Commander Reed Wiseman was a member of Expedition 41, which was on the International Space Station from May to November 2014. At that time he was a flight engineer.
Victor Glover was in charge of piloting SpaceX Crew-1 through 2021. He spent 168 days at the special station "Internatsionalnost" together with the 64th expedition. On the Artemis II, he will also be the pilot that will take the crew into orbit around the moon.
In conclusion, Canadian Jeremy Hansen is the only one to go into space for the first time.
“He was a colonel in the Canadian Forces and a former fighter pilot. Hansen holds a bachelor's degree in space science from the Royal Military College of Canada and a master's degree in physical science from the same institution with a research focus.
Norm Knight, NASA's director of flight operations, noted that the idea was to create a panel of experts on various topics due to the many challenges associated with the Artemis II mission.
“This is exactly what an astronaut corps should be: a combination of highly capable individuals with the skills and determination to face any challenge as a team. The Artemis II mission will be challenging, and we will test our capabilities as we prepare to take future astronauts to the moon. With Reed, Victor, Christina and Jeremy at the helm, I have no doubt that we are ready to take on any challenge that comes our way.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances along the way, the Artemis II could take off in the spring of 2024. It is possible that due to complications during testing of Artemis I, the mission will be postponed for a longer period.