NASA and the Canadian Space Agency announced on Monday the four astronauts who will participate in the next Artemis mission and fly around the moon.
The Artemis II team will be made up of three Americans – Victor Glover, Christina Hammock Koch and Reid Wiseman – and one Canadian, Jeremy Hansen.
The team included Koch as the first woman and Glover as the first person of color to finally set foot on the surface of the moon. Glover will be the space pilot and Wise will be the captain of the Artemis II.
institutions announcement intervention equipment at NASA Johnson Space Center’s Ellington Field in Houston, Texas.
“Today we are here with a mission to introduce the world to the crew of Artemis 2 for names, explorers, for my friends, it answers the call again to launch a rocket from Earth and chart a course around the moon,” Joe Acaba, chief of NASA’s astronaut office, said at the start of the event.
Glover, 46, will be the first person of color to sail to the moon. Glover was selected as a NASA astronaut in 2013 and was recently selected as pilot and second in command of Crew-I SpaceX Crew Dragon in 2020.
He completed a period of roughly 167 days. According to NASA, Glover was the first African American astronaut to join a long-duration mission to the International Space Station.
“We don’t need to celebrate this time in human history because Artemis II was more than a mission to the moon and back,” Glover said. “It’s more than a mission that happens before we send humans to the surface of the moon. It’s the next trip that takes humanity to Mars and this crew, we’ll never forget.”
Koch, 43, made history with astronaut Jessica Mer in October 2019 when they completed the first all-female spacewalk.
Koch was also selected as an astronaut in 2013 and completed six space flights. She currently holds the record for the longest single space flight by a woman at 328 days.
“I’m not going to the moon right away,” he said. “We’re going to stay in an amazingly high orbit, reaching a myriad of myriads of peaks while we explore all of Orion’s systems and also see how they fare in space. And then, if everything looks good, we’ll head for the moon.’
Wise, 47, is a decorated naval aviator who was selected as an astronaut in June 2009.
In 2014, he served as a flight engineer on the International Space Station and, over a 165-day mission, completed more than 300 experiments with his crewmates. Sages recently served as chief astronaut, but stepped down in November because the chief cannot fly in space.
Hansen was a 47-year-old fighter pilot before joining the CSA and assisting NASA in astronaut training and mission operations.
Not only will this be Hansen’s first space mission, but it will also be the first Canadian trip ever to the moon.
President Joe Biden congratulated the team on Monday, which included a video of him talking to the Artemis II team.
“Look, thank you for your incredible service,” Biden said in the clip. “The mission that you’re going on, the United States can return people to the moon. It’s hard to believe that for the first time in more than 50 years.”
After the Artemis 1 mission took place in December of last year, it spent 25.5 days in space and traveled about 1.4 million miles around the moon, according to NASA.
Artemis was the first step in NASA’s ambitious plan to establish a long-term presence on the moon and later send a crewed crew to Mars.
Artemis II is scheduled to send four astronauts into space in 2024 for a lunar flight before returning to Earth.
NASA launched the first spacecraft of the new Orion spacecraft and the first to launch a new heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System.
“With Artemis I, we set out to prove that the hardware is ready, that the SLS is ready to send our astronauts into the sky, that Orion is equipped to take them to the moon and back again safely,” said Norman Knight, flight operations director. Directorate at NASA. “Artemis ego was a resounding victory and Diana II put those pressures on people’s shoulders.”
The mission will take about 10 days, but the system will need to undergo extensive testing first to ensure it can support humans alive and working in deep space, NASA said.
This will be the first set of missions that NASA has used to send a crew to the moon since the Apollo 17 mission in December 1972, more than 50 years ago.
The mission broke several records with the longest distances and the largest lunar samples returned to Earth and also involved several experiments, including sending five mice into space with a crew.
“During the course of the Artemis missions, the first woman and the first person of color will take giant leaps on the lunar surface,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.
In total, the Artemis campaign includes four missions, each of which will cost approximately $4.1 billion. The project risks up to $93 billion by 2025, according to hears from the NASA Office of the Inspector General.
Artemis III plans to send four astronauts to the moon in 2025, while Artemis IV plans for a second lunar landing in 2027.
In addition to setting up permanent camps on the moon, the goal is to become a gateway to human missions to Mars.
“Under Artemis we will explore the limits of space and the limits of what is possible,” said Vanessa Wyche, director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center. “You may walk on the moon or be one of the many explorers who venture to Mars. We all look forward to you being part of our mission.”
ABC News’ Gina Sunseri contributed to this report.