"This is their crew, this is our crew, this is humanity's crew," said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.
NASA has revealed the crew for the highly anticipated Artemis II mission to the Moon in 2024, which includes Astronaut Christina Koch, the first woman who will be going around the moon. On April 3, NASA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) unveiled the crew members heading to space at an event at Ellington Field near NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, per PEOPLE.
"The Artemis II crew represents thousands of people working tirelessly to bring us to the stars. This is their crew, this is our crew, this is humanity's crew," said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. "NASA astronauts Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover, and Christina Hammock Koch, and CSA astronaut Jeremy Hansen, each has their own story, but, together, they represent our creed: E pluribus unum – out of many, one," he continued. "Together, we are ushering in a new era of exploration for a new generation of star sailors and dreamers – the Artemis Generation," he declared
Meet the first member of our #Artemis II Moon crew: mission specialist @Astro_Christina!— NASA (@NASA) April 3, 2023
Christina Koch visited the @Space_Station in 2019, where she took part in the first all-woman spacewalk. She began her career as an electrical engineer at @NASAGoddard. pic.twitter.com/mi82SayXUm
The journey will be the first time in more than 50 years that humans will fly close to the moon. The 10-day mission, like the first uncrewed Artemis I mission, is laying the groundwork for future long-term human exploration missions to the Moon and, ultimately, Mars. "Among the crew are the first woman, the first person of color, and the first Canadian on a lunar mission, and all four astronauts will represent the best of humanity as they explore for the benefit of all," said Director Vanessa Wyche, NASA Johnson. "This mission paves the way for the expansion of human deep space exploration and presents new opportunities for scientific discoveries, commercial, industry, and academic partnerships, and the Artemis Generation."
This will not be Koch's first trip to space. She previously worked as a flight engineer aboard the space station for Expeditions 59, 60, and 61, setting a record for the longest continuous spaceflight by a woman of 328 days in space and taking part in the first all-female spacewalks, according to a release by NASA.
Here they are. @SenBillNelson announces the #Artemis II crew, the next astronauts to fly around the Moon:@Astro_Christina@Astro_Jeremy@AstroVicGlover@Astro_Reid— NASA (@NASA) April 3, 2023
We go together. https://t.co/XdUizg2Wye pic.twitter.com/6Yo4I2lKeJ
"I could not be prouder that these brave four will kickstart our journeys to the Moon and beyond," said the Director of Flight Operations at Johnson Space Center, Norm Knight.
"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," he raved. "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," Knight added.
Cover Image Source: NASA