Training is about to begin for the first manned mission bound for the Moon in 50 years.
NASA astronauts Christina Koch, Victor Glover and Reid Wiseman, along with Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen, will begin preparing for the Artemis II mission in June, NASA said this week.
The training program for the 10-day mission is expected to last 18 months. Most of it will take place at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, where NASA has a mockup of the Orion crew module, and also at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the launch site for the mission.
Currently scheduled for November 2024, Artemis II has been made possible by the successful Artemis I mission, which last year tested NASA’s new Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft on a trip around the moon that will be closely watched by the Artemis II crew. The upcoming mission will take astronauts about 80 miles from the lunar surface and take them farther from Earth than any crewed mission has gone before.
The training will include detailed lessons on the Orion spacecraft and SLS rocket systems, including how to operate and monitor the systems for ascent, orbit, and shore, and mission entry phases, and how to respond to any emergency situation arises, NASA said.
“We are building a robust crew training plan to ensure they are ready for every aspect of this first mission to the moon under Artemis in our newest spacecraft and rocket,” said Jacki Mahaffey, chief training officer for the Artemis II crew. “Since this is the first time we will be training the crew for the Artemis missions, Reid, Victor, Christina, and Jeremy will also be essential in helping us refine future training requirements.”
The four crew members of NASA’s Artemis II mission were introduced to the public at a special event last month. All except Hansen have been in space before, staying aboard the International Space Station in low-Earth orbit.
A successful mission will pave the way for the highly anticipated Artemis III mission, possibly in 2025, which will make the first crewed lunar landing since the last Apollo mission in 1972.
NASA’s Artemis program will use new technologies to explore more of the lunar surface than ever before. The ultimate goal is to establish the first long-term presence on the Moon and potentially use the celestial body as a launch pad for the first manned mission to Mars.