NASA is taking America back to the moon. This exciting news received even more hype when the National Aeronautics and Space Administration announced the four astronauts undertaking the extraterrestrial journey.
This voyage will be the first time since the end of the Apollo launches that a space crew has traveled beyond Earth’s orbit. The team of four will take a ten-day trip around the moon and back. Three Americans and one Canadien will be manning the flight. Reid Wiseman, Christina Koch, and Victor Glover comprise the American contingent of the crew, and Canada’s Jeremy Hansen will be rounding out the expedition team. Victor Glover spoke about the importance of this mission in a quote shared by CBS News:
“Artemis II is more than a mission to the moon and back. It’s more than a mission that has to happen before we send people to the surface of the moon. It is the next step on the journey that gets humanity to Mars. … And this crew will never forget that.”
In a press conference, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson spoke about the mission and introduced the crew. He began the discussion in a way that only a NASA employee could, with a wonderfully inspirational line about this mission’s importance for the growth of humanity:
“It’s been more than a half-century since astronauts journeyed to the moon. Well, folks, that’s about to change. The mission to the moon will launch four pioneers, but it will carry more than astronauts — Artemis II will carry the hopes of millions of people around the world.”
NASA has named the Artemis II crew that will head to the moon: Victor Glover, Christina Koch and Reid Wiseman, and Jeremy Hansen of the Canadian Space Agency. They will travel around the moon and back on a 10-day mission within the next two years. https://t.co/o0WmVg1bxp pic.twitter.com/0A851jWiVc
— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 3, 2023
According to CBS, all three American astronauts have spent time on the International Space Station and are accustomed to life in space. However, Hansen will be making his first journey outside Earth’s atmosphere. The Canadian could not be in better hands as he prepares to make this trip with some of the best astronauts that the world has to offer. Hansen showed incredible grace and thankfulness for the opportunity to go into space with the American crew, saying:
“There are two reasons why a Canadian is going to the moon. The first one is American leadership. It is not lost on any of us that the United States could choose to go back to the moon by themselves. But America has made a very deliberate choice over decades to curate a global team.”
“For decades now, literally thousands upon thousands of Canadians have risen to that challenge to bring real value to the international partnership with respect to space exploration. … And all of those have added up to this moment where a Canadian is going to the moon with our international partnership. And it is glorious!”
North America is now tasked with an unenviable wait, as the mission is planned to launch sometime in the next two years. As the astronauts train, space enthusiasts must wait for the next step in modern space exploration, which is just over the horizon. We are alive at an exciting time; humanity is only a few steps away from entering its next frontier.
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