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These Are The 4 Astronauts Who'll Take A Trip Around The Moon Next Year. One Is From Southern California

Four people are pictured in orange space suits: from left, a woman with light-tone skin, a man with dark-tone skin, a man with light-tone skin and a man with light-tone skin. The woman holds a helmet in her right hand.
Official crew portrait for Artemis II, from left: NASA Astronauts Christina Koch, Victor Glover, Reid Wiseman, Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Jeremy Hansen.
(Josh Valcarcel
Courtesy NASA)
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NASA and the Canadian Space Agency have announced the names of the four astronauts who will travel on a spaceflight around the Moon next year.

The group will fly aboard NASA's Orion spacecraft as part of the Artemis program, which aims to return astronauts to the surface of the Moon for the first time in more than 50 years, establish a long-term presence on the lunar surface and eventually put humans on Mars.

The four-person crew will include NASA astronauts Christina Hammock Koch, Victor Glover and Reid Wiseman as well as Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen.

"We have a lot to celebrate, and it's so much more than the four names that have been announced. We need to celebrate this moment in human history," said Glover, Artemis II's pilot, during a Monday morning event to announce the crew. "Artemis II is more than a mission to the Moon and back. It's more than a mission that has to happen before we send people to the surface of the Moon. It is the next step on the journey that gets humanity to Mars."

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About Victor Glover's SoCal ties
  • Victor Glover, who was born and raised in Los Angeles County, has dreamed of going to the moon since he was a child.

  • LAist talked to him in 2018 when he was preparing to pilot a SpaceX Dragon capsule to the International Space Station, where he completed a lengthy stay in 2021.

  • "When i was a kid, I saw a shuttle launch on TV and, not knowing a whole lot about the space program and what it took even to be an engineer much less an astronaut, I knew that I want to drive that," he told us.

  • The Navy captain was born in Pomona, went to Ontario High School and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and later served as a test pilot at China Lake.

  • Speaking at the NASA announcement about the 10-day Artemis mission, he said: “This is a big day. We have a lot to celebrate and it’s so much more than the four names that have been announced."

  • — Susanne Whatley

The mission will be the second phase of NASA's Artemis program. Artemis I occurred last year, when NASA launched the uncrewed Orion on a test mission to space in November, sending the ship around the Moon and back on a 1.4-million-mile journey that lasted 25 and a half days. The goal of that mission was to test the new Artemis rocket and spacecraft ahead of a crewed flight.

NASA associate administrator Robert D. Cabana said after the Orion splashed down safely in December that the spacecraft performed "flawlessly" despite a few minor glitches. Officials had scuttled the scheduled launch of Artemis I several times over technical problems, including a hydrogen leak, as well as severe weather.

With the test flight finally under Orion's belt and its first crew named, space program officials are preparing for the second phase of Artemis, which is scheduled to take place in 2024.m The four astronauts will embark on a roughly 10-day mission around the Moon and back without landing on the lunar surface.

The final phase of the Artemis project, Artemis III, will put astronauts on the Moon once again — but no sooner than 2025. The last time NASA astronauts walked on the Moon was during the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.

According to NASA's Office of Inspector General, each Orion spaceflight will cost more than $4 billion, and the overall cost of the Artemis program through the 2025 fiscal year will reach $93 billion.

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