Meet the next four people headed to the Moon
The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and NASA have announced the names of the four astronauts who will travel around the Moon on Artemis II, the inaugural crewed mission as part of NASA’s efforts to establish a sustainable human presence on the Moon to scientific research and exploration.
Artemis II is a crucial mission that will assess the technology and equipment needed for future moon landings and represents a major milestone in NASA’s planned journey back to the Moon’s surface. In addition to this mission, NASA has set several clear goals for this new lunar and space exploration era.
One of NASA’s primary goals is to inspire young people to take an interest in space exploration, sparking their curiosity and encouraging them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
The agency also aims to make the broader Artemis program more economically and politically sustainable, ensuring the project can continue in the long term.
Who are the four astronauts?
Wiseman, 47, is a native of Baltimore, Maryland. He has a BS in engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York and an MS in engineering from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
In addition to his academic qualifications, Wiseman has a military background. He received the Naval Aviator designation in 1999 and served as a fighter pilot on two deployments to the Middle East, with his second deployment taking place in 2003, according to his official NASA biography. Wiseman has two children and lost his wife Carol to cancer in May 2020.
NASA selected Wiseman as one of nine members of the astronaut class of 2009. He completed his training in 2011 and made his first and only spaceflight in May 2014, a 165-day mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Wiseman was a crew member on Expedition 40 and Expedition 41 before returning to Earth in November 2014.
From December 2020 to November 2022, Wiseman was the chief of NASA’s astronaut office.
Victor Glover, 46, is a native of Pomona, California. He earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.
Glover has three master’s degrees in engineering from the Air University at Edwards Air Force Base in California, the Naval Postgraduate School and the Air University in Montgomery, Alabama.
Like Wiseman, Glover also served as a fighter pilot in the US Navy and was deployed multiple times. According to his NASA bio, he has logged ‘3,000 flight hours in more than 40 aircraft, more than 400 arrested landings on aircraft carriers, and 24 combat missions.’ Glover and his wife Dionna have four children.
Glover was selected as part of the NASA astronaut class of 2013, which followed Wiseman’s, completing his training two years later. He has one space flight under his belt: Crew-1, the first operational mission to the International Space Station, which SpaceX flew for NASA.
Christina Koch, 44, grew up in Jacksonville, North Carolina, where she earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in engineering from North Carolina State University.
She worked as an electrical engineer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland and at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, contributing to the development of scientific instruments for various NASA robotic missions, including the Juno Jupiter orbiter and the Van Allen probes, which investigated the radiation environment near Earth. She is married to Robert Koch.
Koch has also done scientific fieldwork in remote locations including Antarctica, Greenland, and far north Alaska, serving as a Research Associate with the US Antarctic Program and a Field Engineer for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
She became part of the NASA astronaut class in 2013, as did Glover. She finished her training in 2015 and, after a few years, she was chosen for her first space mission to the International Space Station, where she stayed for a long period.
Jeremy Hansen is a 47-year-old from London, Ontario, who holds a bachelor’s degree in honours space science and a master’s degree in physics from the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario.
He is a colonel in the Royal Canadian Air Force and served as a fighter pilot from 2004 to 2009. Hansen is married to Catherine and has three children.
In 2009, Hansen was one of two people chosen as a CSA astronaut in the agency’s third recruitment campaign. He completed astronaut training in 2011 and further prepared for spaceflight by participating in an underwater excursion in 2014 via NASA’s NEEMO program and a subterranean expedition of the European Space Agency’s CAVES program in 2013.
In 2017, Hansen was appointed to lead the training of NASA and CSA astronaut candidates, making him the first Canadian to hold this position.
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