NASA Names Artemis II Crew


NASA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) have released the names of the astronauts selected to crew the Artemis II mission to fly by the Moon. The team will include mission commander Reid Wiseman, pilot Victor Glover and mission specialist Christina Hammock Koch from NASA and mission specialist Jeremy Hansen from CSA. The first crewed mission for the Artemis program, Artemis II is tentatively scheduled to launch in November 2024.

“For the first time in more than 50 years, these individuals—the Artemis II crew—will be the first humans to fly to the vicinity of the Moon,” said NASA Johnson Space Center Director Vanessa Wyche. “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.”

Artemis II is expected to remain in space for approximately 10 days, performing a lunar flyby and system tests in preparation for the third Artemis mission, which will aim to land people on the Moon for the first time since 1972. It will be the second spaceflight for Wiseman, Glover and Koch who have logged 165 days, 168 days and 328 days in space respectively. It will be the first trip for Hansen.

As previously reported by AVweb, the uncrewed Artemis I mission launched last November. As with Artemis I, Artemis II will use NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion crew capsule. The Artemis program is looking to pave the way for “long-term human exploration missions to the Moon, and eventually Mars.”

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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  1. How many have signed up for that oneway ticket to Mars? Who wants to be the first person to take that first breathe of fresh CO2 on Mars?

  2. John F. Kennedy said it as well as anyone. Paraphrasing, we choose to go to the moon, not because it is easy, but because it is hard. If our attitude is “we don’t have the money and don’t need the missions” I would argue that we do it anyway. Otherwise, we continue down the easy path of stagnation and decline.

    I also don’t buy the reason that “we have so many problems here that need fixing” as an excuse to not spend money on exploration. OK, I agree we have problems, but the does the money EVER get spent on fixing things that need fixing? We don’t have a good track record in that regard.

    Yes, let’s go back to the moon. If you are worried about the cost, think of it as an investment in our future. Think of the jobs, the new technologies, the possibilities for the future rather than the initial cost. Never stop exploring.

    • “we don’t have the money and don’t need the missions”
      This is why the Apollo 18 full launch vehicle still exists and is located on it’s side in Houston Texas. Nothing has change in the last 50 years to alter that reasoning. We have other more pressing issues that are leading to stagnation and decline but this is not the forum to bring them forward.

  3. A brief review of the bidding: The Space Logistics System/Shuttle is history and the ISS is such a bore, we don’t know it exists until Elon Musk launches one of his Falcon Rockets to take someone and/or groceries/trash to/from the thing. NASA is already planning for its end by burning most of it up on reentry and deep sixing the residue somewhere in the deep ocean blue. Presumably as a means of assisting in further justifying their future existence, NASA has decided it’s important to resurrect another moon mission, 50 years after we last sent men there primarily as a political stunt to satisfy John Kennedy’s challenge in his famous 1962 “We Choose To Go To The Moon” speech and beat the Russians in the chase. Oh, but we did manage to bag and bring back some rocks from its “magnificent desolation” that proved the geological make-up of the moon was same as earth leading to the “amazing conclusion” that the moon was likely gouged from earth in one of those mysterious asteroid collisions. This new moon mission with its new name, Artemis, is, we’re told, so we can use it as a means of extending our manned reach to another largely uninhabitable rock, Mars? That said, I will admit to being fascinated by the deep space photos coming back from the Webb Telescope that is essentially a visual replay of Creation. Onward and “Upward.”

    • I appreciate your critique. From this point in time, with the current propulsion systems, and the difficulties of protecting life from the range of particle radiations, lack of gravity, air, water, and food, and incredible isolation, exploring anything much beyond the moon is really loaded on the cost side of the cost/benefit ratio. But then we step into the fuzzy area of human emotion, which is necessarily largely hidden from awareness, even though it strongly influences perception, and somewhere in that context an occasional wildly successful enterprise or idea arises. And it is that type of emotional/cognitive experience that drives these sort of enterprises. Maybe one or some of these adventures will produce something of value that will benefit the human species…maybe. What the species needs most is the ability to prevent criminal behavior in all of it’s forms: from the low on the totem pole “purse snatcher” to the denizens operating within organizational and corporate hierarchies and the political arena.
      But that pursuit is not glamorous, leads toward equality, and elevates the “everyman” not the adrenaline producing/consuming “hero”.

  4. Putting aside whether or not going back to the moon is an appropriate use of NASA funds, let’s address the “shouldn’t spend any money on until all the world’s social problems are solved” school of thought:
    Most of our big social problems persist not because we don’t spend enough money on resolving them, but because we are unwilling to face their true underlying causes and what would be required to effectively deal with those causes. Instead, we simply throw money at them and when they fail to improve, or get worse, we blame it on not throwing enough. We do this because as humans we all have two primary motivators, pleasant and unpleasant. We seek pleasant and avoid unpleasant; pleasant is blaming someone else for not throwing more money, unpleasant would be accepting that more isn’t the right answer and facing what would be.

  5. For those asking, “Why”? Simple. Because we need the moon if we’re going to send people to colonize Mars one day. The Apollo missions were, arguably, more politically motivated than scientific. Artemis, in my opinion, is the opposite. The moon is strategically important for long term human exploration on Mars. It can act as a refueling depot, supply depot, staging area, and scientific research station (perhaps to test null G propulsion systems in… get this… null G!). To discount these as Artemis as a waste of money is plain ignorant and defeatist.

    • Nope, in fact it’s easier to use earth orbit than having a descent and ascent on the moon. This is why the movie “The Martian” got it right.

    • The “Mars Direct” plan was developed by Martin Marietta engineers who were frustrated that we wouldn’t get to Mars in their career and would instead waste time on a retread of the ’70’s moon missions. They “did the math”, proved it could work, and even convinced parts of NASA it was feasible. Why then are we going to the moon? Sometime later, in 2003 (ish) I attended a political conference that had a breakout session on NASA. The moon missions were talked about quite a bit by the moderator. I brought up Mars Direct. The push-back I got was right out of the original Robo Cop movie. The tech was understood; the risk was low; the budgets were allocated; the margins were locked in. Mostly the profits and bonuses were set for the careers of the executives at the companies supplying the moon mission. It didn’t matter that the mission was pointless.

  6. It’s also important to remember that NASA never launches huge payloads of cash into orbit. Every dollar is spent here on Earth. NASA and contractors’ salaries support local economies across the country. Spinoff technologies are freely shared as well.
    Interestingly, according to Google, Americans spend 16 billion+ on food, drinks, and party supplies for the Super Bowl…

  7. Why?

    Good question.

    There are hundreds of books and thousands of pictures and documentaries regarding Yellowstone and other National parks. There is nothing about these parks that you can’t read about in a book or see in a video. Many of those videos and books are free for the asking.

    Yet, tourist to Yellowstone and other National Parks spend billions each year to visit. Many return for second and third visits. All for something that you can read about for free.

    Why are these billions spent? Why the innate desire to explore these parks in person?

    If you can answer that, maybe that’s the same answer to go back to the moon.

  8. Further still:

    Why drive to the airport, drag out the 172, preflight and fill up to go to another airport to grab a $100 hamburger?

    It’d be cheaper and more practical to throw some rollers and sliders on the backyard grill and spent the rest of the evening on Microsoft Flight simulator.

    Why indeed.

  9. BIG difference. The 172 pilot pays his/her own way.

    The Artimis pilot takes the money from the 172 pilot, and many other taxpaying citizens.

    • “ BIG difference. The 172 pilot pays his/her own way.”

      I do applaud all the private field users and flyers.

      Not a lot of pilots pay attention enough to use airports that do not receive government funding, don’t use GPS/NAVAIDS and forgo any ATC services.

      So good on yah for not use any taxpayer funded resources when you fly.