NASA Expected To Unveil Artemis II Moon Flyby Mission Astronaut Crew

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NASA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) are set to announce the four astronauts who will partake in the Artemis II mission that will send the crew and spacecraft around the moon and back to Earth. Artemis II is the forerunner to the first humans to return to the surface of the Moon since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.

NASA's first Artemis mission with a human crew is an important next step in the space agency's desire to place humans back on the surface of the moon and eventually Mars. Artemis II is designed to confirm all of the spacecraft's systems operate as designed with a crew aboard while in deep space. The mission will be comprised of four astronauts, who will be announced by NASA on April 3, 2023, at 11am EDT.

"The unique Artemis II mission profile will build upon the uncrewed Artemis I flight test by demonstrating a broad range of SLS and Orion capabilities needed on deep space missions," remarked Mike Sarafin, Artemis mission manager. "This mission will prove Orion's critical life support systems are ready to sustain our astronauts on longer duration missions ahead and allow the crew to practice operations essential to the success of Artemis III."

According to a recent report by CNN, there are a few names that seem to be leading the pack of candidates. One of the more notable ones is that of Reid Wiseman, a 47-year-old naval aviator who was selected to be an astronaut in 2009. Before stepping down as Chief of the Astronaut Office, Wiseman took advantage of his role by placing his own name on the list of candidates for Artemis II. As of right now, there is a list of 41 active astronaut candidates NASA is selecting from for the next Artemis mission.

In August of last year, Sarafin proclaimed about the first two Artemis missions, "Together, these test flights will demonstrate the capabilities we need to land humans on the Moon and enable long-term missions for decades to come. We will take the experience gained exploring the Moon to prepare for the next giant leap to Mars."

Anyone who would like to watch the event live, can do so by visiting NASA's official YouTube channel tomorrow at 11am EDT.