Today, more than 50 years after people last went to the moon, NASA will announce the names of the four people who will make the trip. Three Americans and one Canadian will make up the crew of Artemis II, which will take off at the end of 2024 for a 10-day trip around the moon and back to Earth without stopping.
NASA aims to send men to the Moon in 2025 as part of the Artemis programme, more than five decades after the historic Apollo missions ended in 1972. The group will join the iconic group of American astronauts who travelled to the moon as part of the Apollo mission between 1968 and 1972. Everything you need to know about Monday’s announcement is available right here.
During a 25-day journey around the Moon, an unmanned Orion capsule returned to Earth safely in December, wrapping out the first Artemis mission.
When is the announcement and how can I watch it?
NASA will welcome the four astronauts to the globe from the Johnson Space Center in Houston on Monday at 11 a.m. Eastern time. NASA TV and the organization’s YouTube page will stream the announcement live.
On its tour around the orbiting satellite and return, Orion travelled more than a million miles (1.6 million kilometres) farther from Earth than any other previous habitable spacecraft.
NASA astronauts performed their final lunar descent after completing the Apollo 17 mission in December 1972. Since then, various attempts have been made to return to the moon. President Biden has maintained the Artemis programme since his inauguration, and this is where the Trump administration has focused its efforts.
In November of last year, NASA launched the Artemis I mission as a test of the massive Space Launch System rocket and an unmanned Orion spacecraft. This enabled NASA’s newest lunar mission, Artemis II, to be launched. It will not take off until at least November 2024.
The astronauts will travel in an Orion spacecraft in an elliptical orbit that loops as far as 1,800 miles away from Earth, allowing them to see Orion’s systems in action. The spacecraft will then utilise the moon’s gravity to sling back to Earth for a splashdown in the Pacific when it approaches the moon. The journey should take a total of ten days.
Who are the astronauts?
NASA currently has 41 astronauts on the payroll. The agency will choose three astronauts from this group to go to the moon on the Artemis II mission.
The fourth astronaut will be one of the Canadian Space Agency’s four current astronauts.
Three active NASA astronauts are disqualified for Artemis II because they are currently on board the International Space Station and others are busy preparing for upcoming assignments there. But, if those astronauts remain in the corps after returning to their home countries, they, along with other applicants who were not selected for the Artemis II crew, may be able to join the Artemis III crew. Two astronauts will visit the moon on that mission, which will launch no later than 2025.
According to NASA officials, the moon missions are an integral element of their human spaceflight programme, not simply a re-enactment of the Apollo lunar missions from 1968 to 1972.
They claim that NASA astronauts will prepare for flights to Mars by mastering longer lunar missions. In addition, NASA wants to help companies that want to launch research instruments and other payloads to the moon on a regular basis.