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NASA announces first woman and Black man to visit moon

NASA announces first woman and Black man to visit moon

The batch of astronauts will include the first woman and the first African American assigned to a lunar space mission.

NASA has named the four astronauts that will head out on the first lunar mission in five decades.

The crew will include the first woman and the first African American person assigned to a moon expedition.

Now that's what we call one small step for humankind.

The crew, made up of three Americans and one Canadian astronaut, were introduced to the world during a ceremony on Monday (April 3) in Houston, where NASA's Mission Control is based.

At the launch NASA administrator Bill Nelson said the crew will usher in a new era for space exploration.

"The Artemis-2 crew represents thousands of people working tirelessly to bring us to the stars. This is their crew, this is our crew, this is humanity's crew," he said in a press statement.

"NASA astronauts Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover, and Christina Hammock Koch, and CSA astronaut Jeremy Hansen, each have their own story, but, together, they represent our creed: E pluribus unum - out of many, one."

Nelson added: "Together, we are ushering in a new era of exploration for a new generation of star sailors and dreamers - the Artemis Generation."

The four who will venture out on the lunar mission are from a variety of different backgrounds and specialisations, which will prove useful on-board.

The crew of NASA’s Artemis II mission (left to right): NASA astronauts Christina Hammock Koch, Reid Wiseman (seated), Victor Glover, and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen.
NASA

The first astronaut we'll introduce from the history-making lineup is Victor Glover, 46.

Glover is a US Navy test pilot who made his first journey to space in 2020 and was the first African American to stay on the International Space Station for an extended period of time. He lived amongst the stars for six months in total.

The first lunar lady is 44-year-old electrical engineer Christina Koch.

She participated in the first all-female spacewalk in 2019 and holds the record for the woman with the longest continuous time in space, which went for a whopping 328 days.

Two others are set to join those two trailblazers on the first lunar voyage in five decades - astronaut and US Navy pilot Reid Wiseman, 47, has flown on one other space journey in 2015 to the International Space Station.

And a total newbie will also take part in the big ol' lap around the moon - Canadian Jeremy Hansen, 47, is yet to fly in space but his years as a fighter pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force has more than likely set him up well for the mammoth task ahead.

NASA Apollo 12 lunar landing mission astronaut Pete Conrad unfurls the American flag on the lunar surface during his first spacewalk November 19, 1969 on the Moon.
NASA/Alamy

Pretty rad debut to the ranks of those who get to explore the Final Frontier, if you ask us!

The newly-announced astronauts will spend a total of 10 days in space, with flight testing kicking off in the next few weeks. Then they'll climb into NASA's Orion space capsule for their journey, which will occur no earlier than late 2024.

If that ten day adventure goes according to plan, NASA will then land two astronauts on the face of moon by 2025.

The last human spaceflight mission to the Moon was Apollo 17 in December 1972, with the first moon landing being Apollo 11 in 1969.

Featured Image Credit: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo. NG Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: NASA, Science, Space, News, World News