NASA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) unveiled the four astronauts set to embark on Artemis II, a historic lunar mission that marks a crucial step in NASA’s Moon to Mars exploration program. The crew members were announced during a ceremony at Ellington Field, close to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
According to NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, the Artemis II team is a testament to the collaborative effort of thousands working to propel humanity towards the stars. The four astronauts, Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover, and Christina Hammock Koch from NASA, and Jeremy Hansen from CSA, embody the principle of “E pluribus unum” as they inaugurate a new era for a generation of explorers and visionaries: the Artemis Generation.
The crew will consist of Commander Reid Wiseman, Pilot Victor Glover, and Mission Specialists Christina Hammock Koch and Jeremy Hansen. Their mission will entail a series of ambitious demonstrations during the flight test.
Launching on NASA’s powerful Space Launch System rocket, the 10-day Artemis II flight test will focus on validating Orion spacecraft life-support systems and verifying the techniques necessary for human deep-space habitation.
Canadian Space Agency minister François-Philippe Champagne expressed enthusiasm for Canada’s involvement in the mission and praised astronaut Jeremy Hansen for being at the forefront of one of humanity’s most ambitious endeavors. The Artemis program symbolizes a defining moment in the space exploration history of both Canada and the United States.
Building on the success of the uncrewed Artemis I mission, Artemis II will lay the groundwork for the first woman and first person of color to set foot on the Moon. This mission also paves the way for future long-term lunar exploration and, eventually, Mars expeditions.
Vanessa Wyche, Director of NASA Johnson, highlighted the significance of the Artemis II crew, who will be the first humans to fly near the Moon in over 50 years. The mission presents opportunities for scientific discoveries and collaboration with commercial, industrial, and academic partners.
The Artemis II astronauts bring a wealth of experience to the mission, with Wiseman, Glover, and Koch having previously completed spaceflights, while Hansen makes his debut in space. Hansen, a Canadian Armed Forces colonel and former fighter pilot, boasts a strong background in space science and has served as Capcom in NASA’s Mission Control Center.
Norm Knight, Director of Flight Operations at NASA Johnson, expressed confidence in the crew’s ability to take on the challenges of the Artemis II mission. As NASA ventures forward with Artemis missions, the agency aims to collaborate with commercial and international partners to establish a long-term lunar presence and eventually send astronauts to Mars.
Resources about Artemis II crew
- Official NASA Artemis II Crew: https://www.nasa.gov/specials/artemis-ii/
- NASA Press Release: https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-names-astronauts-to-next-moon-mission-first-crew-under-artemis
- Artemis II Map: https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/artemis-ii-map
- The Moon Phases Explained: https://www.optodir.com/moon-phases-explained/