NASA's successful Artemis 1 Moon mission paved the way for Artemis 2 — the second of three missions to land humans on the Moon again. The Artemis 2 crew will not step foot on the lunar surface. But they will be the first humans to fly close to the Moon in over 50 years. On April 3, 2023, NASA officials announced the four astronauts selected to helm the historic mission.
Reid Wiseman will serve as Artemis 2's mission commander. The 47-year-old decorated naval aviator joined NASA's astronaut program in 2009. Wiseman was part of a 165-day-long mission to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2014. Prior to being selected for the Moon mission, he served as chief of NASA's astronaut office.
Victor Glover will pilot the Artemis 2 mission. The 47-year-old US Navy captain was selected to be a NASA astronaut in 2013. In 2020, he directed SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft to the ISS. As part of the ISS Expedition 64, Glover completed 168 days in orbit. He also participated in four spacewalks. Glover will be the first Black man to travel around the Moon.
Christina Koch will be one of two mission specialists onboard. The 44-year-old flight engineer has spent 328 consecutive days in space across three ISS expeditions. This is more than any other female astronaut. Koch has also been on six spacewalks — including the first all-female spacewalk. Koch will be the first woman to orbit the Moon.
Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen will serve as a mission specialist alongside Koch. The 47-year-old completed NASA's astronaut training program in 2011. He has held several roles while waiting for his first space assignment. This includes working at NASA's mission control and participating in the European Space Agency's CAVES program, where he lived underground for six days. Hansen will make history as the first non-American to travel to the Moon.
The Artemis 2 mission is expected to launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in November 2024. During the approximately 10-day mission, the astronauts will test the Orion spacecraft's life-support systems and various other new technologies.
If all goes well, the Artemis 3 mission will launch sometime in 2025 or 2026. It will attempt to land humans on the Moon again for the first time since 1972. The Artemis missions are part of NASA's ambitious plan to establish a permanent base camp to support longer expeditions on the lunar surface.
Resources: NASA.gov, Space.com, asc-csa.gc.ca