Meet the Stellar Four: Astronauts Named for First Manned Moon Mission in Half a Century

Meet the Stellar Four: Astronauts Named for First Manned Moon Mission in Half a Century

Table of Content

In this article, we’ll explore the background of the four astronauts chosen for the Artemis II lunar flyby, a historic mission that will take humanity one step closer to Mars. 

We’ll also delve into the mission’s goals and how it paves the way for future lunar exploration.

Key Takeaways:

  • NASA has announced the four astronauts for the Artemis II mission: Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover, Christina Koch, and Jeremy Hansen.
  • The Artemis II mission is scheduled for November 2024 and will be the first crewed lunar flyby in five decades.
  • The crew will travel further than any human has traveled in history, with the exact distance yet to be determined.
  • The success of Artemis II will pave the way for the Artemis III mission, which aims to land the first woman and person of color on the lunar surface.
  • The Artemis program seeks to establish a permanent lunar outpost, laying the groundwork for future human exploration deeper into space and ultimately to Mars.

Meet the Astronauts: NASA and the Canadian Space Agency Announce Crew for Artemis II

Reid Wiseman: Commander of Artemis II

  • 47-year-old decorated naval aviator and test pilot
  • Completed a 165-day trip to the International Space Station
  • Served as chief of the astronaut office

Jeremy Hansen: First Canadian to Travel to Deep Space

  • 47-year-old fighter pilot
  • Selected for astronaut training in 2009
  • First Canadian to lead the training of a new class of NASA astronauts

Victor Glover: A Seasoned Naval Aviator

  • 46-year-old naval aviator
  • Flew on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, spending nearly six months aboard the International Space Station
  • Logged 3,000 flight hours in over 40 aircraft, with more than 400 carrier arrested landings and 24 combat missions
  •  Involved in the SpaceX Crew-1 expedition that took off in November 2020, destined for the International Space Station.

Christina Koch: Record-Setting Spacewalker

  • 44-year-old veteran of six spacewalks, including the first all-female spacewalk
  • She has achieved the longest single spaceflight by a woman, which lasted for 328 days.
  • Electrical engineer with a background in developing scientific instruments for multiple NASA missions
  • Spent a year at the South Pole, gaining invaluable experience for the intensity of a moon mission

The Artemis II Mission: Venturing Beyond the Moon

Expanding from the triumph of the Artemis I mission without a crew, the Artemis II launch is scheduled for approximately November 2024. 

The four astronauts will be launched aboard the Orion spacecraft, propelled by NASA’s Space Launch System rocket from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. 

The journey is expected to last approximately 10 days and will send the crew further than any human has traveled before, with the exact distance yet to be determined.

Preparing for Artemis III and Beyond

The Artemis II mission is a preparation for Artemis III, which plans to send the first woman and person of color to land on the moon. 

It will be the first time humans step on the lunar surface since the Apollo program ended in 1972. 

While Artemis III is currently targeting a 2025 launch date, delays may push the mission to 2026 or later.

The main aim of the Artemis project is to create a long-lasting base on the moon, which will allow for further exploration of space by humans. 

This will open the door to eventually sending astronauts to Mars.

The Road to Artemis II and Beyond

As the Artemis II crew begins their training for the historic mission, NASA continues to develop and refine the technology required for future lunar landings. 

This includes the development of new spacesuits designed for walking on the Moon and lunar landers to transport astronauts to the lunar surface.

International and Commercial Collaboration

The Artemis program highlights the importance of international cooperation and collaboration with commercial partners. 

The Canadian Space Agency’s involvement in the Artemis II mission demonstrates the value of international partnerships in space exploration. 

Additionally, NASA is working closely with commercial entities like SpaceX to develop and launch innovative spacecraft and technologies.


The selection of the four astronauts for the Artemis II mission marks a significant milestone in humanity’s quest to explore the cosmos. 

This diverse crew represents the evolution of space exploration, and their journey will provide invaluable insights and pave the way for future lunar missions and Mars exploration. 

As the Artemis program unfolds, we eagerly await the new discoveries and achievements that lie ahead for the Artemis Generation.


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Judith Harvey is a seasoned finance editor with over two decades of experience in the financial journalism industry. Her analytical skills and keen insight into market trends quickly made her a sought-after expert in financial reporting.