NASA Unveils First Female, Black Astronauts For Historic Moon Mission

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has unveiled a four-member crew for its upcoming mission around the moon.

The Artemis II mission which would be NASA’s first crewed voyage around the moon in over half a century includes the first woman, the first person of colour, and the first Canadian.

Reid Wiseman, the mission commander, is a 47-year-old former US navy fighter pilot. He has flown one previous space mission to the International Space Station in 2015.

Victor Glover, the mission pilot, is a 46-year-old US navy test pilot who made his first spaceflight in 2020. He was the first African American to stay on the space station for an extended period of six months and most recently served as pilot and second-in-command on the Crew-1 SpaceX Crew Dragon, which landed on May 2, 2021.

Christina Koch, the mission specialist, is a 44-year-old flight engineer who served on the International Space Station (ISS) for Expeditions 59, 60 and 61. Koch set a record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman with a total of 328 days in space and participated in the first all-female spacewalks.

Jeremy Hansen, another mission specialist, is a 47-year-old who was a fighter pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force before joining the Canadian Space Agency. He will be the first native of his country to embark on a space mission.

The 10-day mission around the moon and back is expected to pave the way for future lunar landings and human exploration of Mars.

According to NASA, the space voyage will be no earlier than late 2024.

In a congratulatory call to the crew, US President Joe Biden lauded the team for their bravery, saying their mission would inspire the next generation of explorers around the world.

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