April 03, 2023
NASA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) have announced the four astronauts who will be embarking on the Artemis II mission, marking the first crewed mission on NASA's path to establish a long-term presence at the Moon for science and exploration through Artemis. The Artemis II crew will be working as a team to execute an ambitious set of demonstrations during the flight test that will last approximately 10 days.
The Artemis II mission is set to launch on the agency's powerful Space Launch System rocket, which will prove the Orion spacecraft's life-support systems and validate the capabilities and techniques needed for humans to live and work in deep space. The success of this mission will set the stage for the first woman and the first person of color to land on the Moon through the Artemis program, paving the way for future long-term human exploration missions to the Moon, and eventually Mars.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson expressed his appreciation for the crew during the announcement event, stating that the Artemis II crew represents thousands of people working tirelessly to bring us to the stars. He emphasized that the crew members each have their own story, but, together, they represent our creed: "E pluribus unum - out of many, one." He added that "together, we are ushering in a new era of exploration for a new generation of star sailors and dreamers - the Artemis Generation."
The four-member crew includes Commander Reid Wiseman, Pilot Victor Glover, Mission Specialist 1 Christina Hammock Koch, and Mission Specialist 2 Jeremy Hansen. Commander Wiseman has been to space before, serving as a flight engineer aboard the International Space Station for Expedition 41 from May through November 2014. Pilot Glover has also been to space before, serving as a flight engineer aboard the space station for Expedition 64, contributing to scientific investigations, technology demonstrations, and participating in four spacewalks.
Mission Specialist 1, Christina Hammock Koch, will be making her second flight into space on the Artemis II mission, having served as a flight engineer aboard the space station for Expedition 59, 60, and 61. Koch holds the record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman with a total of 328 days in space and participated in the first all-female spacewalks.
Representing Canada, Mission Specialist 2 Jeremy Hansen is making his first flight to space. Hansen is a colonel in the Canadian Armed Forces and former fighter pilot, with a Bachelor of Science in space science from Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario, and a Master of Science in physics from the same institution in 2000, with a research focus on Wide Field of View Satellite Tracking. He was one of two recruits selected by CSA in May 2009 through the third Canadian Astronaut Recruitment Campaign and has served as Capcom in NASA's Mission Control Center at Johnson and, in 2017, became the first Canadian to be entrusted with leading a NASA astronaut class, leading the training of astronaut candidates from the United States and Canada.
“The Artemis II mission will be challenging, and we’ll test our limits as we prepare to put future astronauts on the Moon. With Reid, Victor, Christina, and Jeremy at the controls, I have no doubt we’re ready to face every challenge that comes our way,” said Director of Flight Operations Norm Knight, NASA Johnson.
The Artemis program aims to use innovative technologies to explore more of the lunar surface than ever before, collaborating with commercial and international partners to establish the first long-term presence on the Moon. Then, NASA will use what it learns on and around the Moon to take the next giant leap - sending astronauts to Mars.