NASA announced the four astronauts—one woman and three men—who will travel to the moon by the year’s end on Monday.
The three Americans and one Canadian were unveiled in Houston, the home of Mission Control and the nation’s astronauts.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson stated, “This is humanity’s crew.”
The four astronauts will launch atop a Space Launch System rocket from the Kennedy Space Center no early than late 2024 to become the first to fly NASA’s Orion spacecraft.
They will fly around the moon instead of landing or entering lunar orbit, setting up two more people to land on it a year from now.
Victor Glover, a Black American military aviator, Christina Koch, who currently holds the world record for the longest space journey by a woman; and Jeremy Hansen, a Canadian, will work alongside mission commander Reid Wiseman on the expedition.
Everyone but Hansen have experience in space.
It’s a momentous day. There is much more to celebrate than just the four names that have been revealed, according to Glover.
The first Artemis-named crew in NASA’s new moon mission, this moon crew is the first to contain a woman and someone from a country other than the United States.
An empty Orion spacecraft made a long-awaited practice flight to the moon late last year.
NASA dispatched 24 astronauts to the moon during the Apollo program from 1968 to 1972. Twelve of them touched down.
Except for Harrison Schmitt, a geologist who finished that lunar landing era with the late Gene Cernan, all were test pilots with military training. Schmitt was an astronaut on Apollo 17.
NASA hopes to send two men to the moon by around 2025, assuming the upcoming 10-day moonshot goes smoothly.
NASA selected its first Artemis crew from 41 currently employed astronauts. Four candidates were from Canada.