NASA reveals Artemis II Crew for flight around the moon

NASA’s four man crew will travel around the moon on April 3 as part of Artemis II mission.

NASA, in collaboration with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), announced the names of the four astronauts who will travel around the moon as part of Artemis II on April 3. Artemis II is just a single mission in a series of missions designed to establish a long-term presence on the moon to continue conducting further space research, as well as continuing to Mars. Artemis I was an unmanned flight around the moon in preparation for the sling-shot-like effect that will help humanity to Mars. Artemis II will be a manned mission that will last approximately ten days, circling the moon, and testing all of the life support systems on the craft, before returning to Earth. Artemis III will be the mission that finally lands on the moon.

In the past, NASA chose its astronauts primarily from men who had extensive United States Navy or Air Force backgrounds. Now, nearly five decades later, NASA has finally selected four new astronauts to fly around the moon. These astronauts were pulled from a pool that comprised an even split between men and women and was also ethnically diverse, unlike the original moon missions. NASA deviated from its flight crew of members with exclusively military backgrounds, so any United States citizen with at least a master’s degree in a math or science-related field was eligible to apply.

The astronauts chosen are Commander Ried Wiseman, Pilot Victor Glover, Mission Specialist 1 Christian Hammock Koch and Mission Specialist 2 Jeremy Hansen. All except Hansen will be stepping into space for their second mission.

Wiseman and Glover have both served in the United States Navy as captains and have both spent time in the International Space Station.

Commander Wiseman spent over 165 days in space from May to November of 2014. He was serving as a flight engineer for the International Station of Expedition 41. During his time onboard this mission, he logged an impressive 13 hours outside of the orbital complex over the duration of two spacewalking trips, where he served as the lead spacewalker. After his time in space, he was chief of the Astronaut office from December 2020 to November 2022.

Second-in-command, Pilot Glover spent 168 days in space serving as a pilot in NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1, before going to the Space Station as a part of Expedition 64. He also served as a flight engineer, where he participated in four spacewalks.

Mission Specialist 1 Koch holds the world record for longest single spaceflight for a woman — 328 days — and participated in the first all-female space walk. She has served in three different expeditions aboard the International Station as a flight engineer.

Mission Specialist 2 Hansen is from Canada, and this will be his first time in space. He has served as Colonel in the Canadian Armed Forces and is a former fighter pilot. He has a Bachelor of Science in Space Science and a Master’s in Physics with research focusing on Wide Field View of Satellite Tracking from the Royal Military College of Canada.

The Artemis II mission will be launched November 2024; however, there is always a chance that problems will occur and the launch date will be delayed, as seen with Artemis I. This exploration marks a very exciting time for space exploration and will expand human’s knowledge of the universe.

Post Author: Erika Brock