NASA introduced the first four astronauts, including a woman and an African-American, who will crew Artemis missions, with which the agency plans to return to the Moon, 50 years after the Apollo missions.
In a crowded ceremony held at the space agency’s Johnson Center in Houston, led by Chief Astronaut Joe Acaba, the chosen ones who will venture to the vicinity of the Moon on the Artemis II mission were announced. Its launch is scheduled for 2024, as confirmed at the event by NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.
They are the Americans Gregory R Wiseman, as commander, the African-American Victor J. Glover as pilot, and mission specialists Christina Koch, also from NASA, and Jeremy Hansen, the latter a Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronaut. Canada is a leading NASA partner in the development of the Artemis program.
Reid Wiseman lived and worked aboard the International Space Station as a flight engineer in 2014. He also commanded the NEEMO21 undersea research mission and most recently served as NASA’s Chief Astronaut.
Victor Glover is part of NASA’s Astronaut Class of 2013 and was a pilot on the Crew 1 mission contracted to Space X to fly to the International Space Station. He has logged 3,000 flight hours in more than 40 different aircraft and will be the first pilot of an Orion, flying in this case around the Moon.
Canadian Jeremy Hansen was a fighter pilot before joining CSA and currently works with NASA in astronaut training and mission operations. This will be Hansen’s first mission in space.
Christina Koch visited the Space Station in 2019, where she participated in the first women’s spacewalk. She began her career as an electrical engineer at Goddard Center.
The entire team will travel aboard NASA’s Orion spacecraft on the first crewed flight test of the Artemis Program, the agency’s plan to establish both a long-term scientific and human presence on the lunar surface.
The approximately 10-day mission will test the Orion spacecraft’s life support systems, attached to ESA’s service module, to demonstrate the capabilities and techniques needed to live and work in deep space in a manner suitable for humans, NASA reports.
Artemis II builds on the successful Artemis I flight test, which launched an uncrewed Orion spacecraft, mounted on the SLS rocket, on a journey of about 2.25 million kilometers beyond the Moon to test systems before astronauts fly aboard the systems on a mission to the Moon’s surface.
Source: (EUROPA PRESS)