“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind!”
It’s been more than five decades since the last time humans left low-Earth orbit and 54 years since Neil Armstrong uttered those words after being the first man to land on the Moon. Now that’s all about to change as NASA just announced the four selected astronauts for their Artemis II mission, set to travel around the Moon for a week-long flight, Watch The Yard reports.
Among the chosen are Commander Reid Wiseman, Mission Specialist, Jeremy Hansen, Mission Specialist Christina Hammock Koch, the first woman to travel to the Moon, and pilot Victor Glover, who is making history as the first Black person to travel to the Moon.
Glover is a Southern California native, Cal Poly engineering graduate and a member of Phi Beta Sigma. He got his start as a Navy test pilot and legislative fellow for the late Senator John McCain, being chosen for the NASA Astronaut program in 2013 while still working in Congress. With more than 20 years of piloting experience under his belt, Glover made history before in 2020, becoming the first Black person to fly for SpaceX and move into the International Space Station for an extended 6 month stay. At the time Glover said he was overjoyed.
"The opportunity to fly to space at all is just truly amazing, but then to be able to do it on a spacecraft that is made by this great company SpaceX, it's an honor, it's just icing on the cake," Glover told reporters, "I'm really excited to be able to fly on Crew Dragon."
Now he’ll be piloting the 10-day Artemis II flight test to execute a series of ambition tests. The crew will be responsible for building upon the success of the uncrewed Artemis I mission completed this past December. They will work to test “the agency’s Space Launch System rocket, prove the Orion spacecraft’s life-support systems, and validate the capabilities and techniques needed for humans to live and work in deep space.”
“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. Among the crew are the first woman, first person of color, and 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 NASA’s Johnson Space Center Director Vanessa Wyche via statement.
An audacious mission, Glover and the crew will be responsible for pioneering a way for long-term human exploration missions to the Moon and eventually Mars. While challenging, NASA Johnson Director of Flight Operations Norm Knight said he is confident this crew will be able to get it done.
“I could not be prouder that these brave four will kickstart our journeys to the Moon and beyond…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,” said Knight.
Congratulations Victor! We hope you and the crew have a safe flight. Because of you, we can!
Cover photo: NASA astronaut Victor Glover is making history as the first Black person to go to the moon/Photo Courtesy of Bill Ingalls/NASA/Getty Images