NASA has selected the four astronauts who will travel to the moon during the upcoming Artemis 2 mission, which will be humanity’s first manned return to the moon in more than 50 years.
Meet the four astronauts who will soon be taking a trip to the moon
The four astronauts are: Reed Wiseman, Victor Glover and Christina Koch of NASA and Jeremy Hansen of the Canadian Space Agency.
“The Artemis 2 crew represents thousands of people working tirelessly to get us to the stars,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said before announcing the crew during live coverage of the event on NASA TV. “This is their crew. This is our crew. This is the crew of humanity.
Meet the Artemis 2 team / Meet the four astronauts who will soon be taking a trip to the moon
Reed Wiseman (Commander):
Former NASA Chief Astronaut, Wise man is a 47-year-old US Navy captain selected as an astronaut in 2009. In 2014, he spent 165 days aboard the International Space Station. During this time, Weizmann undertook two spacewalks and helped conduct more than 300 scientific experiments in fields ranging from human physiology to medicine to Earth science and astrophysics. During this stretch, Wiseman and his team also set a record by completing 82 hours of research in one week.
Victor Glover (Pilot):
A 46-year-old US Navy captain, Glover was selected as an astronaut in 2013. In November 2020, he served as the pilot of the first operational mission of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule, spending 168 days on the International Space Station. Glover was also the first black man appointed to the crew of a space station and made a total of four spacewalks. Some colleagues call Glover “Ike,” a nickname one of his first commanding officers gave him as a joke. This means “I know everything.“
Christina Koch (Mission Specialist):
He was previously an electrical engineer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, Koch was selected as an astronaut in 2013. At age 44, Koch has completed six spacewalks totaling more than 42 hours. She is also currently holding record for longest solo space flight by a womanwhich she set while aboard the International Space Station for a total of 328 days.
Jeremy Hansen (Mission Specialist):
One of only four active Canadian astronauts, Hansen is a 47-year-old former fighter pilot. He was selected as an astronaut by Canadian Space Agency (CSA) in 2009, but it has not yet flown to space. While representing CSA at NASA, Hansen served as a capsule communicator, relaying information between Mission Control in Houston and astronauts aboard the International Space Station.
The Artemis 2 crew was selected by NASA Flight Operations Director Norm Knight and NASA Chief Astronaut Joe Acaba under the guidance of Johnson Space Center Director Vanessa Wyche.
Mankind returns to the moon
The Artemis 2 mission, scheduled for launch in 2024, will not see humans return to the surface of the Moon. Instead, the crew will take a trip around the moon, testing the technologies needed to eventually land humans on the lunar surface during Artemis 3.
“Artemis 1 was an outstanding success,” Knight said. “And Artemis 2 will take advantage of that by bringing humans into the loop, performing critical path operations leading to new footprints on the lunar surface.”
“[Artemis 2] is a mission that is important in many ways,” Nelson said. “This is a demonstration of our ability to push the boundaries of human achievement. It is a testament to the unwavering passion of the team that will make this possible. And this is a message to the world: we choose to go back to the moon and then to Mars, and we will do it together, because in the 21st century, NASA explores space with international partners.
In total, the Artemis 2 mission to the Moon and back will take about 10 days to complete. And after the crewed Orion spacecraft returns, it will re-enter Earth’s atmosphere at 30 times the speed of sound before splashing into the Pacific Ocean.
“The moon is a symbol of our can-do spirit,” Nelson said. “And during the Artemis missions, the first woman and the first person of color will take giant leaps on the lunar surface. More than half a century has passed since astronauts traveled to the moon. Well folks, that’s about to change.
Along with members of the press and many elected officials, including Texas Senator Ted Cruz, several survive Apollo astronauts were also present at the event.
“We’ve made a lot of giant leaps in the last 60 years, satisfying President Kennedy’s goal for landing a man on the moon,” Wyche said. “And today, we stand on the shoulders of giants as we reach deeper into the stars and push again toward the Moon—and toward Mars.”
“We will show what is possible when we dare to achieve it,” Nelson said.
This article was originally published on Astronomy.com.