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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

NASA announces the four astronauts who will travel to the moon next year

Official crew portrait for Artemis II, from left: NASA Astronauts Christina Koch, Victor Glover, Reid Wiseman, Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Jeremy Hansen.  (Photo by Josh Valcarcel, courtesy of  NASA's Johnson Space Center)

Humans will travel to the moon for the first time in more than 50 years next year. Just who those people will be was announced Monday at a NASA press conference.

NASA and the Canadian Space Agency announced the names of the crew who will travel to the moon on the Artemis II mission at an event on Monday morning at Ellington Field, near NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The Artemis II astronauts traveling to the moon next year are: Reid Wiseman, 47, from Baltimore, as the mission commander; Victor Glover, 46, of Pomona California, as the mission pilot; Christina Hammock Koch, 44, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, as a mission specialist; and Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen, 47, of London, Ontario, as another mission specialist.

“Among the crew are the first woman, first person of color, and first Canadian on a lunar mission, and all four astronauts will represent the best of humanity as they explore for the benefit of all,” said NASA’s Johnson Space Center Director Vanessa Wyche. “This mission paves the way for the expansion of human deep space exploration and presents new opportunities for scientific discoveries, commercial, industry and academic partnerships and the Artemis generation.”

The Artemis II crew were each introduced before a crowd of people at Ellington Field.

Among the group of Artemis II astronaut candidates present on stage were Spokane’s own Anne McClain and Kayla Barron, of Richland.

The Artemis II mission will precede Artemis III, which seeks to put humans on the moon in 2025. Artemis I, launched in 2022, sent an uncrewed flight to the moon. 

“The mission to the moon will launch four pioneers but it will carry more than astronauts. Artemis ii will carry the hopes of millions of people around the world,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson at Monday’s event. “We will show what is possible when we dare to reach distant cosmic shores.”