NASA has just chosen the four astronauts that will be the first people to fly around the moon in 50 years. This team features the first woman and the first person of color.
The four astronauts that are enrolled in the Artemis II mission are the U.S. mission specialist Christina Hammock Koch, pilot Victor Glover, mission commander G. Reid Wiseman, and Canadian mission specialist Jeremy Hansen.
The Artemis II crew is going to ride the Orion spacecraft, expected to launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, as early as November 2024. This will be the most powerful rocket in the world.
The mission crew will make two loops around the Earth over 10 days before flying around the moon. A team at Houston will control the first part of the flight, but for the second Earth orbit, the Artemis crew will take charge of piloting the spacecraft. Orion will just make a single lunar flyby and will return using Earth’s gravity.
This mission serves as a test of Orion’s life-support systems. NASA expects that the spacecraft will shuttle astronauts to the moon for the next Artemis mission. Also, this mission will be one of the first steps for accomplishing a long-term plan: establishing a permanent lunar base for research. This would also serve as a testbed for future Mars missions.
Going to mars is one of the hardest things humanity will achieve. This would be very expensive, and NASA expects global cooperation. “The way we’re doing it is very different. We’re doing it as a world, not as a country.” Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s former associate administrator for science told Mashable last year.