NASA announced this Wednesday to the 18 astronauts, Nine men and nine women, who will be part of the Artemis program, with which it plans to reach the Moon in 2024 and establish a permanent base, and among which is the one that will be the first woman to set foot on the satellite land.
From this list of 18 astronauts, who according to NASA have a “wide range of knowledge and experience”, will come the man and woman who will land on the moon in four years and who will pave the way for the next human missions that will orbit and reach the Moon.
The names of the 18 astronauts were announced by the Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence, during the eighth and last meeting of the National Space Council, at the Keneddy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida (USA).
“I present to you the heroes who will take us to the Moon and beyond, the Artemis generation, “said Pence, after reading the list of 18 astronauts, alongside NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine.
Five astronauts who make up the team with which the United States will continue the work of the historic Apollo missions that reached the Moon for the first time 50 years ago were part of the presentation.
Between 32 and 54 years of age
The five astronauts who were present at Cape Canaveral were the 53-year-old hydrogeologist Joe Just; the test pilot in the US Navy Matthew Dominick, 39 years old; aerospace engineer and member of the US military Anne McClain, 41 years old; marine biologist and philosopher Jessica Meir, 43 years old, and the geologist Jessica Watkins, 32 years old.
The others who are part of the team of 18 astronauts are: Kayla barron (33 years), Raja Chari (43), Victor glover (44), Woody hoburg (35), Jonny Kim (36), Christina Koch (41), Kjell lindgren (47), Nicole mann (43), Jasmin moghbeli (37), Kate rubins (42), Frank Rubio (44), Scott tingle (55) and Stephanie wilson (54).
“It’s really surprising to think that the next man and the first woman on the Moon are among the names that we just read that may be in the room right now,” said Vice President Pence.
The space agency’s Artemis program, named after Apollo’s twin sister, is scheduled to begin sending robotic missions in 2021, to which Manned Artemis II missions will follow, orbiting the Moon in 2023.
Pence thanked US President Donald Trump “for renewing American leadership in space.”
NASA plans to select from this group of 18 the Artemis II crew members beginning in 2021, and subsequently to Artemis III’s crew, the one that will reach the Moon.
During the business meeting, Pence further announced that the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station will become the Space Force from Cape Canaveral and Patrick Air Force Base will become Patrick Space Force Base.
The United States Government has defined the Space Force as the sixth branch of the Armed Forces of the United States – the others are the Air Force, the Land, the Navy, the Marine Corps and the Coast Guard – although it will be under the umbrella of the Air Force.