Meet the Crew of Artemis II
Since Artemis I splashed down in the Pacific Ocean in December 2022, Vertices writers and space enthusiasts around the world have anxiously awaited news from NASA regarding the program’s progress. Artemis I was the first of six planned missions to the Moon. On its 25-day mission, the newly designed Orion spacecraft completed two lunar flybys and reached the furthest distance from Earth that any human-rated spacecraft has gone.
Now, for the first time this century, NASA is planning a manned mission to the Moon. Artemis II is slated to launch with a four-person crew in November 2024. The crew will spend approximately ten days in space and complete an orbit around the Moon to test the spacecraft for crewed use. On April 3, 2023, NASA announced the members of this crew — and they include the first woman and the first person of color to ever fly on a lunar mission.
Above: The Artemis II crew poses in an Orion spacecraft simulator at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. (From left to right: Jeremy Hanson, Victor Glover, Reid Wiseman, Christina Koch.) Image courtesy of NASA.
Commander Reid Wiseman is an engineer and Naval Aviator from Baltimore, Maryland. He joined NASA as an astronaut trainee in 2009 and served as Chief of the Astronaut Office from 2020 to 2022. Wiseman is also a seasoned astronaut: he spent 165 days on the International Space Station (ISS), where he and his crewmates conducted a record 82 hours of research in just one week.
Pilot Victor Glover is a California native and flight engineer who was selected to train as an astronaut while serving as a Legislative Fellow in the US Senate. He was the first Black ISS crewmember to live at the station and one of only 14 Black Americans NASA has ever sent to space. Glover piloted the SpaceX Resilience mission in 2021 and will pilot Artemis II in 2024.
Mission Specialist Christina Koch is an engineer, researcher, alumna of North Carolina School for Sciences and Math, and a quadruple degree-holder from North Carolina State University! She spent three and a half years doing research in the Arctic and Antarctic and two years developing scientific instruments for space exploration at Johns Hopkins University. Koch participated in the first all-female space walk in 2019 and is the record-holder for the longest continuous time spent in space by a female astronaut.
Mission Specialist Jeremy Hansen is the only Canadian crew member of the Artemis II mission. He holds degrees in space science and physics from Royal Military College. At age 12, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron in Ontario, where he trained to become a pilot. Hansen has served as an Aquanaut in the Aquarius underwater laboratory for undersea exploration.
With this qualified and pioneering crew, Artemis II is an exciting mission to watch. To quote President Biden, this mission will go beyond the field of space exploration and “show every child that if they can dream it — they can be it.”
Discover more about the Artemis project here.