NASA's Artemis II 2024 Moon Mission: Crew Features Female, Black, and Non-American Astronauts

NASA's Artemis II 2024 Moon Mission Crew
The Crew of NASA’s Artemis II Mission (left to right): NASA astronauts Christina Hammock Koch, Reid Wiseman (seated), Victor Glover, and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen.
Credit: NASA

NASA Announces Names of Artemis II Lunar Mission Crew Members

The United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) have announced the names of the members of its 2024 Moon mission crew. The announcement is an incredible milestone and a historic move by NASA for several years.

Besides being a few moment man is expected to fly close to the moon, the crew comprises of a female astronaut, black astronaut, and a non-American astronaut. This will be the first time in history that a mission of this kind has crew members selected across races, genders and nationalities.

The Artemis II crew which has four members include three Americans Victor Glover, Christina Hammock Koch and Reid Wiseman, and a Canadian, Jeremy Hansen. Astronaut Christina Koch named in the mission crew is the first woman, Jeremy Hansen, the first non-American, and Victor Glover, the first person of color (black), who will flyby the moon in 2024.

About Artemis II Mission and Launching

The Artemis II mission is the second space mission of NASA's Artemis program which seek to land human on the moon. It is also the first crewed mission by the Orion spacecraft, currently planned to be launched by NASA's new Space Launch System in November 2024.

The mission will be launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The mission is aim to fly by the moon as a test flight before returning to the earth. Victor Glover will be The Artemis II Aircraft pilot. The mission will be led by astronaut and mission commander, Reid Wiseman. The two will work together with the other team members to accomplish their goals in the 2024 Artemis mission.

The mission is expected to take 10 days and will be the first set of missions after the famous Apollo missions which landed first man on the moon. This mission will provide a preview of what NASA and affiliate space agencies can achieve with the Artemis series in coming years.

According to NASA, the flight test will launch on "the agency’s powerful Space Launch System rocket, prove the Orion spacecraft’s life-support systems, and validate the capabilities and techniques needed for humans to live and work in deep space," NASA said in its press release.

It will also be a chance to study the moon in greater details and prepare for future missions to exoplanets beginning from Mars. NASA, says it will still be testing the system more to see if it supports humans to work in deep space before the move to land another set of humans on the earth's satellite. It, however, gave assurance that the Artemis II is a great deal over the previous missions.

At the commencement of the event to name the crew members, NASA's chief of astronaut office, Joe Acaba, said of the mission, “We are here today with the mission to introduce the world to the crew of Artemis II for names, for explorers, for my friends, answering the call to once more rocket away from Earth, and chart a course around the moon.”

“I could not be prouder that these brave four will kickstart our journeys to the Moon and beyond.

They represent exactly what an astronaut corps should be: a mix of highly capable and accomplished individuals with the skills and determination to take on any trial as a team.

The Artemis II mission will be challenging, and we’ll test our limits as we prepare to put future astronauts on the Moon.

With Reid, Victor, Christina, and Jeremy at the controls, I have no doubt we’re ready to face every challenge that comes our way,” said NASA Johnson, Director of Flight Operations Norm Knight.

Congratulating the crew, the US president, Joe Biden, tweeted, "The @NASA Artemis II crewed mission around the Moon will inspire the next generation of explorers, and show every child – in America, in Canada, and across the world – that if they can dream it, they can be it."

The @NASA Artemis II crewed mission around the Moon will inspire the next generation of explorers, and show every child – in America, in Canada, and across the world – that if they can dream it, they can be it.— President Biden (@POTUS) April 3, 2023

Why NASA's Artemis II Lunar Mission is a Record-Breaking and Historic One

Artemis II mission will be the first crewed mission aboard NASA's newly designed Orion spacecraft and the first to be launched on the NASA's new heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System.

The team comprise of expert crew members and it is a record-breaking mission, not just for what the mission wishes to accomplish but because of the selection of the crew members. For years, many have complained about segregation by NASA in selecting most of its missions crew members.

NASA believes in competence over racial or gender factors, and looking through the background of the Artemis II crew, one can see competence, diligence, hard work and dedication.

Who are Artemis II Crew Members

1. About Astronaut Victor Glover, the Artemis II Spacecraft Pilot

Astronaut Victor Glover, the Artemis II Spacecraft Pilot
Source: Twitter@AstroVicGlover

Victor Glover, 46, is one of the major highlights of the Artemis II mission to the moon. As the first person of colour to embark on a mission to the moon, Glover will not only break a record for his career but will make an unforgotten history for mankind. The truth is that this is not the first time the astronaut has made history for himself.

In 2013, Glover selected buy NASA as an astronaut. Thereafter, he became the first African American to join a long-term expedition crew aboard the International Space Station, and has spent about 6 months in space.

In 2020, Victor Glover became the pilot and second-in-command on the Crew-1 SpaceX Crew Dragon, the first operational crewed flight of a Crew Dragon spacecraft, and the maiden flight of the Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft.

Glover has also embarked on several other space missions including Expeditions 64 and Expedition 65. He is currently a captain and F/A-18 pilot in the U.S. Navy.

According to his Wikipedia profile, Glover is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School, among other educational achievements. His role in Artemis II mission as the spacecraft pilot is a worthy appointment.

2. Who is Astronaut Christina Koch, Artemis II Mission Crew Member?

Christina Hammock Koch is also a record-breaking woman who has made a lot of history in the world of space exploration. There is nothing we can write here to fully express what she has to offer to the Artemis II mission crew.

Astronaut Christina Koch, Artemis II Mission Crew Member
Christina Koch Official Portrait
Credit: NASA

Christina Koch as she's popularly known was first chosen and awarded the astronaut title by NASA in 2013. She is an astronaut and spacecraft engineer who has worked as an electrical engineer for NASA for several years including being flight engineer at International Space Station (ISS) for Expedition 59, 60 and 61.

As an astronaut, Christina became the second woman to complete a long-duration spaceflight on the International Space Station (ISS). She has been aboard the ISS for about a year (328 days). Koch was also the first woman to participate in an all-female spacewalk outside the International Space Station.

Some of the high-profile missions she has participated include the launch of the first space station module and the already listed expeditions. She is an inspiration to many and has been recognized for her achievements, including being named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2020. Her presence in Artemis II crew is undoubtedly, a proof of the crew's competence and NASA's policy beyond gender or race.

3. About Astronaut Reid Wiseman, the Artemis II Mission Commander

Astronaut Reid Wiseman, the Artemis II Mission Commander
Astronaut Reid Wiseman
Source: Twitter @NASAhistory

Reid Wiseman is a NASA astronaut and a U.S. Navy veteran. He became NASA astronaut in 2009, making him one of the most senior astronaut in the the Artemis II lunar mission crew. No wonder that he is appointed the leader and captain of the mission.

Wiseman has since flown on several spaceflights. His first mission was a six-month mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on the Soyuz TMA-13M spacecraft. During this mission to the ISS, Wiseman among other crew members conducted numerous experiments, performed several spacewalks, and hosted a Google+ Hangout from space.

After his first mission, Wiseman returned to Earth in 2014 and was assigned to the Expedition 41 crew. In addition to his work in space, Wiseman is also an expert photographer and well known for always taking photos of Earth from orbit. His quality images have been featured in several media outlets around the world.

His experience in the field of space exploration and at NASA as an organization make Reid Wiseman the best person to lead this amazing Artemis II crew to the moon.

4. Astronaut Jeremy Hansen: Life and Profession

Astronaut Jeremy Hansen: Life and Profession
source: Twitter @Astro_Jeremy

Jeremy Hansen (47) is an astronaut at the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). Hansen was born in 1977 in Ontario Canada. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Royal Military College of Canada.

Hansen is an experienced fighter jet pilot and has served as a Canadian Armed Forces pilot for years. He was selected as CSA's astronaut in 2009 and has completed basic astronaut training and taken NASA's Astronaut Candidate course.

In 2020, Hansen was part of Expedition 61 to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2020. He is currently preparing to take part in Artemis II lunar mission which will make him the first Canadian and first non-American to participate in a crewed space mission close to the moon surface.

The Artemis II mission is indeed an historic one with qualified crew members selected across nationalities, gender and race. It is expected to be a milestone to NASA's plan to set human feet again on the lunar surface after Neil Armstrong and his team successfully landed on the moon in 1969 during the Apollo II mission.

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