Artemis II: NASA selects 4 astronauts for lunar mission

(CNN) Astronauts lined up in teams of four to begin training for the historic Artemis II lunar flyby, set to take off in November 2024, revealing the first crewed lunar mission in five decades on Monday.

The astronauts are Reed Wiseman, Victor Glover and Christina Koch of NASA and Jeremy Hansen of the Canadian Space Agency.

wise man The 47-year-old decorated Navy aviator and test pilot was first selected as a NASA astronaut in 2009. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, he completed one prior space mission, a 165-day trip to the International Space Station in 2014 on a Russian Soyuz rocket. Most recently, Weisman served as the head of the Astronaut Office before stepping down in November 2022, making him eligible for flight.

Weissman will serve as the Artemis II mission commander.

Hansen, 47, is a fighter pilot who was selected by the Canadian Space Agency for astronaut training in 2009. From London, Ontario, Hansen is one of four active Canadian astronauts, and he recently became the first Canadian to take charge. Training for a new class of NASA astronauts.

He was the first Canadian to go into deep space.

Glover The 46-year-old Navy pilot returns to Earth from his first space mission in 2021. A second crew of the SpaceX crew operates the flight Dragon Spaceship and spent nearly six months on the International Space Station.

“It’s a lot more than the four names that were announced,” Glover said during Monday’s announcement at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “We should celebrate this moment in human history. … This is the next step in humanity’s journey to Mars.”

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Born in Pomona, California, Glover served in several military units in the United States and Japan in the 2000s, and he completed test pilot training in the United States Air Force. He was serving as a legislator in the US Senate when he was selected for the NASA astronaut team in 2013. Glover logged over 3,000 flight hours in over 40 aircraft, over 400 carrier intercepted landings and 24 combat missions.

Glover’s first mission to space was as part of the SpaceX Crew-1 crew, which launched to the International Space Station in November 2020 for a six-month stay in the orbiting laboratory.

Coach44, a veteran of six space walks — incl First all-female spacewalk in 2019. She holds the record for the longest single spacewalk by a woman with a total of 328 days in space. Koch was an electrical engineer who helped develop scientific instruments for many NASA missions. A native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Koch spent a year at the South Pole, a grueling shelter that would prepare her well for the rigors of a lunar mission.

About this mission

Artemis II Mission Artemis I, a Ungrouped experimental task It sent NASA’s Orion capsule on a 1.4 million-mile journey to lap the moon that ended in December. The space agency deemed the mission a success and is still working to review all the data collected.

Artemis II lunar flyby mission crew members include (from left): NASA astronauts Christina Koch, Victor Glover, Reed Wiseman (front) and Canadian space agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen.

If all goes according to plan, Artemis II will lift off in November 2024. Crew members, built inside the Orion spacecraft, will launch on a NASA-built Space Launch System rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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The trip is expected to last about 10 days, and although the exact distance has yet to be determined, it will send a crew further beyond the Moon than any human has traveled in history.

“The exact distance beyond the Moon depends on the day of liftoff and the Moon’s relative distance from Earth during the trip,” NASA spokeswoman Kathryn Hambleton said by email.

After orbiting the Moon, the spacecraft will return to Earth to land in the Pacific Ocean.

Artemis II is expected to pave the way for the Artemis III mission later this decade, which NASA has vowed will put the first woman and person of color on the lunar surface. It will also be the first time humans have landed on the moon since the end of the Apollo program in 1972.

The Artemis III mission is expected to launch later this decade. But including most of the technology required for the job Space suits For walking on the moon and a Lunar Lander Transporting astronauts to the surface of the Moon is still under development.

NASA aims to a 2025 release date For Artemis III, the space agency’s inspector general had already said delays would push the mission back. 2026 or later.

The space agency has been seeking to return people to the moon for more than a decade. As NASA and its partners chart a path to send the first humans to Mars, Project Artemis is designed to allow astronauts to live and work deep in space for extended periods of time, paving the way for the establishment of a permanent lunar outpost.

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Selection of astronauts

Vanessa Wyche, director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, declined to provide details to CNN. Selection process. But he emphasized the diversity of the Artemis II crew, which included both men and women, but used a staff of only white male test pilots for past historic missions.

“I can tell you, they all still have the right ingredients,” Wyche said. “We have different requirements than we did when we had test pilots.” Initial tasks.

In an interview with CNN’s Ed Lavandera, Koch said the team found out they had been selected a few weeks ago.

“We were all sent to a meet on our calendar that wasn’t as high as it was going to be,” Koch said. “We both happened to be too late for that meeting.”

He said the prospect left him “speechless”.

“It’s truly an honor,” he added. “It’s an honor — not to get me into space — but to be part of this team that’s going back to the Moon and Mars is amazing.”

Interviews with the four astronauts will air on “CNN This Morning” Tuesday at 6 a.m. ET.

CNN’s Christine Fisher contributed to this story.

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