First woman and person of color among Artemis II astronauts (includes video story)

NASA revealed the four astronauts selected for the first moon mission in 50 years. The Artemis II is set to take off in November 2024 for a 10-day mission that will circle the moon while the crew tests a wide range of new technologies and systems.

“We are here today with the mission to introduce the world to the crew of Artemis II,” said Joe Acaba, Chief astronaut, NASA. “Four names, four explorers, four of my friends answering the call to once more rocket away from earth and chart a course around the moon.”

The team has the first woman, first person of color, and first Canadian on a lunar mission. The four astronauts are mission specialist 1 Christina Koch, who was part of the first all-woman spacewalk in 2019; mission specialist 2 Jeremy Hansen; pilot Victor Glover, who was the pilot for Nasa’s SpaceX Crew-1 Mission; and commander Reid Wiseman.

“Well, we’re going back to the moon,” said Bill Nelson, NASA Administrator. “But this is just the beginning because we’re going back to learn to live, to create, to invent in order to go to Mars and then beyond. So this is… humankind’s further quest to reach out and explore this vastness of the cosmos and to understand better who we are, where we are, what we are.”

The test results from the Artemis II flyby, including the Orion spacecraft’s life-support system, will pave the way for a third mission, Artemis III. NASA aims to launch the mission in 2025 and Nelson said that is when the first woman and next man will walk on the moon. 

Rachel Costa is a student at Florida International University majoring in Digital Journalism and Communications. She was born and raised in Brazil, and enjoys reading and writing. In the future, she hopes to work in the publishing industry.