Here are the astronauts who will return to the moon with the Artemis mission

Here are the astronauts who will return to the moon with the Artemis mission

NASA has revealed the names and faces of the 18 new American "heroes": a very diverse team in terms of background, age and experience in space. Among them there could be the first woman to set foot on the Moon

(image: Nasa) Vice President Mike Pence defined them Generation Artemis, the new American heroes, those who will help - directly or indirectly, we will see - to bring the human being back to the moon. They are 18 (9 women and 9 men) of age, experience in Space, ethnicity and background very different from each other.

Here are their names and their faces: Joseph Acaba, Kayla Barron, Raja Chari, Matthew Dominick, Victor Glover, Warren Hoburg, Jonny Kim, Christina Hammock Koch, Kjell Lindgren, Nicole A. Mann, Anne McClain, Jessica Meir, Jasmin Moghbeli, Kate Rubins, Frank Rubio, Scott Tingle, Jessica Watkins, Stephanie Wilson.

Equal opportunities

A glance is enough to realize that we are not dealing with a homogeneous group. Among the nine women and nine men of the Artemis team are three African Americans, a Hispanic, an American of Korean descent, an American of Iranian descent and an American of Indian descent.

But what makes an impression is their curricula, extremely diversified. Compared to the Apollo program whose members had a strong military background, Artemis is truly multidisciplinary: many engineers with different addresses (aeronautics, aerospace, IT, electronics, etc.), but there are also three doctors (Kim, Rubio and Lindgren), two geologists (Acaba and Watkins), and two biologists (Meir and Rubins, who was also the first to sequence DNA in space).

The composition of the team reflects the different nature of the Artemis mission to the Moon, which will aim at obtaining scientific results to create long-term human settlements, first in orbit and then on the lunar soil. For this there is a need for specific skills for the study of the soil and rocks, to understand how to extract water and oxygen, to meet the medical needs that could arise in prolonged missions, to build energy plants capable of supporting colonies also when the sun is missing.

The lessons learned on my current mission aboard the @Space_Station will pave the way for future exploration on the lunar surface, a dream within a dream. It’s an honor to be part of the @NASAArtemis team!

- Victor Glover (@AstroVicGlover) December 10, 2020


Christina Hammock Koch is one of the veterans of the group. Selected as an astronaut in 2013, she holds the female record of 328 days in space and six spacewalks, two of which along with colleague Jessica Meir (205 days in orbit). Kjell Lindgren also has a lot of experience with his 141 days in Space and his 2 extravehicular walks, not to mention his skills as a flight surgeon in support of missions with the Space Shuttle and on the International Space Station. Same number of spacewalks for Anne McClain, who spent 204 days off Earth.

Next to them, 10 team members have never been assigned to a mission before.

Room for young people

Despite the presence of Wilson and Acaba - respectively 54 and 55, the eldest of the team and the only ones to have set foot on the Space Shuttle -, the average age of the team is quite low (by current standards): 6 astronauts are under 40 years old. The youngest are Watkins and Barron, aged 32 and 33.

There is still room

These are therefore the chosen by NASA, and among them there could be the first woman to moon and the next man. But the games are not closed: there could be some changes and other astronauts designated by other agencies will join.

See you soon, Luna, in 2024.

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