West News Wire: The four-person crew for NASA’s upcoming journey around the moon has been revealed. This crew marks the first representation of a woman, a person of color, and a Canadian on a lunar mission.
Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover, Christina Hammock Koch, and Jeremy Hansen will crew the Artemis II mission for a 10-day flight, NASA revealed on Monday at a ceremony in Houston, Texas. This will be the agency’s first manned moon expedition in more than 50 years.
Vanessa Wyche, head of the Johnson Space Center, said in a statement that “for the first time in more than 50 years, these people the Artemis II crew will be the first humans to fly to the vicinity of the Moon.”
The launch, scheduled for 2024, will be only the second in the Artemis programme, a multinational initiative to establish a “long-term presence at the moon”. The last time a manned crew approached the moon was in 1972, as part of NASA’s Apollo programme.
“This mission paves the way for the expansion of human deep space exploration and presents new opportunities for scientific discoveries, commercial, industry and academic partnerships,” Wyche said.
She called the crew “the best of humanity”. They include three veterans of space travel from the US: Wisemen, Glover and Koch. All three will be making their second trip into space with the Artemis flight.
Koch has previously made headlines for notching several “firsts” in space. As a flight engineer, she holds the record for the longest single spaceflight conducted by a woman, and she participated in the first all-female spacewalks.
Glover, meanwhile, is set to become the first person of colour to participate in a moon voyage. A former legislative fellow in the US Senate, he recently piloted 2021’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission, serving as second in command on the flight.
The third American, Wiseman, has served as flight engineer on the International Space Station, spending 165 days in orbit and logging nearly 13 hours as a lead spacewalker.
The Americans are joined by the first Canadian astronaut to join a lunar flight, Jeremy Hansen. The Ontario-born former fighter pilot will be making his first trip into space, after a career that includes time as a colonel in the Canadian Armed Forces.