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Three men and a woman flying around the moon

Three men and a woman flying around the moon

NASA mission

Artemis 2: Three men and a woman fly around the moon

NASA astronauts Christina Koch (left to right), Victor Glover and Reed Wiseman, and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen.

Josh Valcarcel/NASA/dpa

NASA is back with manned lunar missions – next year, for the first time in decades, people will orbit the moon. It is now clear who will be part of the crew.

Three men and a woman are set to fly around the moon on NASA’s Artemis 2 mission. These are American astronaut Christina Koch, her American colleagues Victor Glover and Reed Wiseman, and Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen, as announced by NASA on Monday. The four astronauts will be the first to approach the moon since Apollo 17 astronauts set foot on the lunar surface for some time in 1972. The Artemis 2 mission is currently scheduled to launch in November 2024.

Glover said shortly after the announcement: We need to celebrate this moment in human history. It’s more than just a mission. It is the next step in the journey that will take humanity to Mars and one that this crew will never forget. Glover will be the first non-white person on a NASA moon mission, Koch the first woman and Hansen the first Canadian. This will be the second flight into space for Glover, Koch, and Wisemann, and the first for Hansen.

“This is human occupation”

“The Artemis 2 crew represents the thousands of people who work tirelessly to take us to the stars,” said NASA chief Bill Nelson. This is their occupation, this is our occupation, this is humanity’s occupation. The White House said US President Joe Biden congratulated the four astronauts by phone and thanked them for their work. He also congratulated German astronaut Alexander Gerst on Twitter in English: Congratulations, my friends. here we are!

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The Artemis 2 mission, scheduled to last about ten days, will be the first crewed launch of Artemis after the successful test of the Artemis 1 mission in December. The unmanned Orion capsule traveled about 1.4 million miles through space, circled the Moon, and landed again in the Pacific Ocean after about 26 days in space and collected crucial data. Previously, the job was not under a good star with cost explosions and frequent start delays for various reasons. The unmanned test mission was seen as an important step for returning humans to the Moon, with the long-term goal of a trip to Mars.

For the first time a woman and a non-white person

Artemis 3, another manned flight including a moon landing, will follow about a year after Artemis 2. The Artemis program, named after the Greek goddess of the moon, aims to land a woman and a non-white person on the moon for the first time. The European Space Agency, Esa, and space agencies from several other countries are participating in Artemis.

The last time people were on the Moon was the Apollo 17 mission some 50 years ago – the landing took place on December 11, 1972. In all, the United States was the only country to date to have twelve astronauts on the Moon on Apollo missions. Between 1969 and 1972.

Former European space chief Jan Werner told dpa that the moon is an important target for astronautics. However, the Artemis program is a definite further development: not a “back to the moon,” but a “forward to the moon”: not four white American males aboard the mission, but an example of diversity: different skin tones, three men, and one woman on board. Three Americans and one Canadian respectively. This is exactly what “Forward to the Moon” means: no repetition, but something new, a team with diversity.

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