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Nasa Announces First Woman and Black Man to Fly to Moon

First Woman and Black Man Fly to Moon
Nasa named the first woman and black man to fly to the moon for the Artemis II lunar flyby that is expected next year. Credit: NASA / illustration by GreekReporter.

NASA has chosen a team of four astronauts to fly on a mission around the moon. This will be the first crewed voyage around the moon in over 50 years. Two members of this team have been named as the first woman and first African American ever to be assigned to a lunar mission.

Christina Koch, a 44-year-old engineer, has been named as a mission specialist for the Artemis II lunar flyby. She has already broken the record for the longest continuous spaceflight by a woman and was part of NASA’s first three all-female spacewalks. The Artemis II mission is expected to take place as early as next year.

Victor Glover, a 46-year-old U.S. Navy aviator, has been designated as the pilot of Artemis II. He has previously been on four spacewalks and will be the first Black astronaut to be sent on a lunar mission.

Complete crew of Artemis II

The mission will be led by Reid Wiseman, a former U.S. Navy fighter pilot, who will be serving as the mission commander. Accompanying him will be three other astronauts, namely Christina Koch, Victor Glover, and Jeremy Hansen, a Royal Canadian Air Force colonel and first Canadian ever chosen for a flight to the moon, as a mission specialist

The announcement of the Artemis II crew was made at a special event held at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. The event was attended by journalists, local elementary school students, and space industry leaders.

During the event, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson expressed his excitement about the mission and the crew, stating that they represent the thousands of people who have worked tirelessly to make this mission possible.

The U.S. president congratulates the crew

The White House has reported that U.S. President Joe Biden made a private call on Sunday to the four individuals to congratulate them.

The upcoming Artemis II mission will be the first time humans will travel to the moon without landing there.

The program is part of an effort to bring astronauts back to the moon’s surface later this decade, and create a sustainable base as a starting point for future expeditions to Mars, according to Nasa.

The objective of Artemis II’s mission

Artemis II aims to prove that the Orion spacecraft’s life-support systems and other equipment can operate as planned with humans aboard as it embarks on a 10-day journey around the moon and back.

Moreover, it will be the closest humans have come to the moon since 1972 when Apollo 17 landed Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt on its surface, marking the end of the Apollo program.

It’s worth noting that all 12 astronauts who have walked on the moon so far have been white men, with the first landing taking place in 1969 with Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin.

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