SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Meet the four astronauts NASA selected for historic moon flyby mission

Apr 3, 2023, 11:22 AM

The Artemis II lunar flyby mission crew members include (from left): NASA astronauts Christina Koch...

The Artemis II lunar flyby mission crew members include (from left): NASA astronauts Christina Koch, Victor Glover, Reid Wiseman (foreground) and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen. (Josh Valcarcel/NASA)

(Josh Valcarcel/NASA)

(CNN) — Astronauts who will helm the first crewed moon mission in five decades were revealed on Monday, queuing up the quartet to begin training for the historic Artemis II lunar flyby that is set to take off in November 2024.

The astronauts are NASA’s Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover and Christina Koch, and Jeremy Hansen of the Canadian Space Agency.

Wiseman is a 47-year-old decorated naval aviator and test pilot who was first selected to be a NASA astronaut in 2009. He’s completed one prior spaceflight, a 165-day trip to the International Space Station that had launched aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket in 2014. Most recently, Wiseman served as chief of the astronaut office before stepping down in November 2022, making him eligible for a flight assignment.

Hansen, 47, is a fighter pilot who was selected by the Canadian Space Agency for astronaut training in 2009. He is one of only four active Canadian astronauts, and he recently became the first Canadian to be put in charge of training for a new class of NASA astronauts.

Glover is a 46-year-old naval aviator who returned to Earth from his first spaceflight in 2021 after piloting the second crewed flight of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft and spending nearly six months aboard the International Space Station. The veteran of four spacewalks earned a master’s degree in engineering while moonlighting as a test pilot.

“It’s so much more than the four names that have been announced,” Glover said during the Monday announcement at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston. “We need to celebrate this moment in human history. … It is the next step in the journey that will get humanity to Mars.”

Koch, 44, is a veteran of six spacewalks. She holds the record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman, with a total of 328 days in space. Koch is also an an electrical engineer who helped develop scientific instruments for multiple NASA mission. She’s also spent a year at the South Pole, an arduous stay that could well prepare her for the intensity of a moon mission.

About this mission

The Artemis II mission will build on Artemis I, an uncrewed test mission that sent NASA’s Orion capsule on a 1.4 million-mile voyage to lap the moon that concluded in December. The space agency deemed that mission a success and is still working to review all the data collected.

If all goes to plan, Artemis II will take off around November 2024. The crew members, strapped inside the Orion spacecraft, will launch atop a NASA-developed Space Launch System rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The journey is expected to last about 10 days and will send the crew out beyond the moon, potentially further than any human has traveled in history, though the exact distance is yet to be determined.

The “exact distance beyond the Moon will depend on the day of liftoff and the relative distance of the Moon from the Earth at the time of the mission,” NASA spokesperson Kathryn Hambleton said via email.

After circling the moon, the spacecraft will return to Earth for a splashdown landing in the Pacific Ocean.

Artemis II is expected to pave the way for the Artemis III mission later this decade, which NASA has vowed will put the first woman and person of color on the lunar surface. It will also mark the first time humans have touched down on the moon since the Apollo program ended in 1972.

The Artemis III mission is expected to take off later this decade. But much of the technology the mission will require, including spacesuits for walking on the moon and a lunar lander to ferry the astronauts to the moon’s surface, is still in development.

NASA is targeting a 2025 launch date for Artemis III, though the space agency’s inspector general has already said delays will likely push the mission to 2026 or later.

The space agency has been seeking to return people to the moon for more than a decade. The Artemis program was designed to pave the way to establishing a permanent lunar outpost, allowing astronauts to live and work deeper into space long term as NASA and its partners map a path to sending the first humans to Mars.


The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

Science & Technology

Silicon Slopes Tech Summit...

Karah Brackin

Silicon Slopes Tech Summit event kicks off

On Wednesday, thousands of people gathered in Salt Lake City to network and learn more about the tech industry at this year’s Silicon Slopes Summit.

4 days ago

An astroid sample dropped near Dugway, Utah Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023, marking the end of a journey to...

Ashley Strickland, CNN

NASA brings long-awaited asteroid sample to earth, lands it in Utah

Seven years after launching to space, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft flew by Earth Sunday to deliver a pristine sample collected from the near-Earth asteroid Bennu. It’s NASA’s first time returning an asteroid sample from space.

7 days ago

Influencers influence on men...

Matt Gephardt

Influencers are influencing men the most to spend on beauty products and supplies

The marketing world has been taken over by influencers. Companies pay them to post about their products on social media – sometimes handsomely.

9 days ago

Five finalists for the Wilkes Climate Prize...

Kaigan Mears Bigler, KSL.com

5 finalists seeking $1.5M University of Utah prize to help climate change

Five finalists are waiting to find out who won a $1.5 million prize offered by the University of Utah, hoping to fund their innovative plans to help the planet — but only one can take home the money.

10 days ago

An error message is displayed on a machine at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2023. MGM ...

Associated Press

Normal operations return to MGM Resorts 10 days after cyberattack, casino company says

Casino company MGM Resorts International says it has restored computer systems at properties across the U.S.

11 days ago

FILE - The OpenAI logo is seen on a mobile phone in front of a computer screen displaying output fr...

Hillel Italie, AP National Writer H

John Grisham, George R.R. Martin and more authors sue OpenAI for copyright infringement

John Grisham, Jodi Picoult and George R.R. Martin are among 17 authors suing OpenAI for “systematic theft on a mass scale.”

11 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

rodeo contestant on a saddle bronc...

DAYS OF '47 RODEO

Get Ready for the Days of ‘47 Rodeo!

The Days of '47 Rodeo is a series of events everyone in the family can enjoy, with world-class rodeo contestants vying for the gold medal.

Electric LED Lightbulb Change In Light At Home...

Lighting Design

How to Know When to Upgrade Your Lighting

This guide explores indicators that suggest it’s time for a lighting upgrade with tips to make an informed decision when you’re ready to buy. 

Brunette guy in headphones playing games on his desktop computer...

PC Laptops

Looking For a New Computer? Use This Desktop Buying Guide

Choosing a new desktop computer can come with a lot of questions, so we created this desktop buying guide.

Meet the four astronauts NASA selected for historic moon flyby mission