Which astronauts to orbit Moon in 2024 as part of Artemis II? NASA announces their names

April 4, 2023  10:21

As part of the Artemis II mission in 2024, a crew of astronauts will orbit the Moon without landing on it. The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has already announced the composition of this crew.

It includes four astronauts:

  • Commander Reid Wiseman,
  • Pilot Victor Glover,
  • First Mission Specialist Christina Hammock Koch,
  • Second Mission Specialist Jeremy Hansen.

What is known about these astronauts?

For crew commander Gregory Reid Wiseman, this will be his second flight into space. The first was in 2014, when he spent more than 165 days in space working as a flight engineer on the International Space Station (ISS) during Expedition 41. From December 2020 to November 2022, he served as the Director of the Office of Astronautics, the highest executive position for active astronauts at NASA.

This will also be the second space flight for Victor Glover. Previously, he was the pilot of the NASA SpaceX Crew-1 spacecraft that carried astronauts to the ISS. They stayed there for 168 days. Glover participated in scientific research as a flight engineer during Expedition 64 at ISS. He also went into space four times.

Christina Hammock Koch will also make her second spaceflight as part of the Artemis II mission. She worked as an engineer in the ISS during the 59, 60, and 61 missions. She is also known for holding the record for the longest time—328 days—spent by a woman in space, and six spacewalks, three of which were spacewalks by a crew of only women—42 hours and 15 minutes.

But for Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen, this is the first flight into space. He is a colonel in the Canadian Armed Forces and a former fighter pilot who received a Bachelor of Science in Space Science from the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario, and a Master of Science in Physics from the same institution in 2000, with a specialization in Wide Field of View Satellite Tracking.

In December 2022, NASA's Artemis I mission successfully completed and the Orion spacecraft landed in the Pacific Ocean.

As part of the second stage of the project, the above-mentioned astronauts will orbit the Moon and return to Earth. Artemis II will be the first manned mission beyond Earth orbit since Apollo 17, which was the last mission to land on the Moon in December 1972.

And within the scope of the third stage, the Artemis III mission, astronauts will land on the surface of the Moon. It is expected that this will happen no earlier than December 2025. Until then, SpaceX's module—the Starship Human Landing System—for landing on the Moon and Axiom Space's new space suits should be tested.

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