With Artemis II set to head to the moon next year, NASA will be announcing those who will be the crew members for its first moon mission in more than 50 years.
According to the DailyMail, the NASA crew will consist of three Americans and a Canadian. The crew members have notably already started training for the mission. However, NASA continues to keep the moon mission crew’s identities under wraps. The agency will be revealing details about the members on April 3rd.
Although the crew members’ identities are top secret, the DailyMail reports that there has been speculation about who is among those selected for the NASA moon mission. Reid Wiseman, who stepped down as chief of the astronaut office in November 2022, is speculated to be a member of the crew.
Other potential candidates for NASA’s upcoming moon mission include Randy Bresnik, Victor Glover, and Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen. NASA administrator Bill Nelson spoke about the upcoming moon mission. “Astronauts – three from America and one from Canada – will fly around the moon and they’ll test NASA’s Space Launch System, which is our rocket, and the spacecraft called Orion.”
Artemis II will launch in late November 2024. However, although the crew will be heading to the moon, they won’t be landing on it. The April 3rd announcement will air on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.
If Artemis II Is Successful, NASA Will Land Artemis III Crew on the Moon
Space.com also reports that if Artemis II’s mission goes well, NASA will work on Artemis III, which will be another moon mission. Only for the 2025 (or so) mission, the crew will actually land near the moon’s South Pole. The crew will also include the first woman and the first person of color to set foot on the moon.
Artemis III will not be the end of the Artemis Program. NASA is notably planning to build a crew research outpost near the moon’s South Pole. This will be complete by the end of the 2020s.
NASA also shared details about the Artemis II moon mission. “Artemis II is the first crewed mission aboard NASA’s foundational human deep space capabilities,” NASA stated. “The Space Launch System rocket, Orion spacecraft, and the ground systems needed to launch them. The approximately 10-day mission will test and stress the Orion spacecraft’s life-support systems to prove the capabilities and techniques required to live and work in deep space in ways only humans can do.”
NASA went on to add that Artemis II builds on the successful Artemis I flight test. That flight test launched an uncrewed Orion, atop the SLS rocket, on a 1.4 million-mile journey beyond the Moon to test systems before astronauts fly aboard the systems on a mission to the Moon.