June 14, 2024
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NASA announces first woman & black man on Moon mission, here’s what you should know about the crew

NASA unveiled the names of its four astronauts on Monday that will go on the Artemis II mission. Its lunar mission of NASA will take off in November 2024 and the training for the same will begin this year. The astronauts are NASA’s Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover and Christina Koch, and Jeremy Hansen of the Canadian Space Agency. 

“We’re going”, said NASA administrator and former astronaut Bill Nelson as he began his address during the space agency’s announcement of the four astronauts. The unveiling event was live-streamed on NASA’s website on Monday.

“We will unlock new knowledge and understanding. We have always dreamed about what more is ahead. Why? Because it is in our  DNA. It is part of us. It is who we are, as adventurers, as explorers, as frontiers people,” added Nelson.

Meet the crew of Artemis II mission

1. Christina Koch

NASA astronaut Christina Koch will be the mission specialist for Artemis 3. Koch visited the space station in 2019, where she was part of the first all-woman spacewalk in history. She began her career as an electrical engineer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre. Just before becoming an astronaut, she served at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as station chief for America Samoa. Christina Koch

On December 28, 2019m Koch broke the record for the longest continuous time in space by a woman and returned from space on February 6, 2020. Koch was also included in Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020. 

2. Victor Glover 

Victor Glover will be the pilot for Artemis 2, responsible for navigating around the Moon. Glover was previously the pilot for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission. According to NASA, he has lodged over 3000 flight hours in more than 40 different aircraft. Glover is a captain and F/A pilot in the US Navy and is a graduate of the US Air Force Test Pilot School. He was also a crew member of Expedition 64 and served as a station systems flight engineer. Victor Glover

Apart from being an engineer, Glover holds a certificate in space systems from the Naval Postgraduate School, as well as a certificate in legislative studies from Georgetown University. 

3. Reid Wiseman

Reid Wiseman will be the commander of the Artemis II mission, Wiseman previously lived and worked on the International Space Station in 2014. Before that, he commanded the undersea research mission NEEMO21, a 16-day underwater mission that simulated space exploration. He also served as chief of NASA’s Astronaut Office in the past.  Reid Wiseman

Before joining NASA, Wiseman was a naval aviator and test pilot. He has a degree in computer and systems engineering and also a master’s degree in systems engineering. Apart from being an astronaut, he is also a go-cart driver. 

4. Jeremy Hansen 

Jeremy Hansen will represent the Canadian Space Agency during the mission, and he was a fighter pilot before joining the space agency. He has worked with NASA on astronaut training and mission operations, but this will be his first-ever mission in space. Jeremy Hansen

Hansen was the pilot of the CF-118 fighter jet in the Royal Canadian Air Force and was promoted to the rank of colonel before joining the Canadian Space Agency. He has a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in space science with First Class Honours from the Royal Military College in Ontario. He is also a Master of Science in Physics, with a research focus on a wide field of view satellite tracking. 

NASA’s Artemis II mission

NASA’s Artemis I mission laid the foundations of its latest human exploration capabilities, which included the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, Orion spacecraft, and all associated ground systems. Artemis II will be the first crewed mission to test all of this. It will be a 10-day-long mission that will have the four astronauts flying around the Moon to test Orion and its life-support mission to ensure that it can provide a safe habitat for astronauts to live and work during deep space exploration. 

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