NASA names four astronauts to fly on first manned Artemis mission around Moon

NASA today named the four astronauts who will fly on its Artemis-2 in a 10-day mission around the Moon, launched on SLS’s second launch in an Orion capsule and tentatively scheduled for late 2024.

The crew assignments are as follows: Commander Reid Wiseman, Pilot Victor Glover, Mission Specialist 1 Christina Hammock Koch, and Mission Specialist 2 Jeremy Hansen. They will work as a team to execute an ambitious set of demonstrations during the flight test.

The approximately 10-day Artemis II flight test will launch on the agency’s powerful Space Launch System rocket, prove the Orion spacecraft’s life-support systems, and validate the capabilities and techniques needed for humans to live and work in deep space.

The flight, set to build upon the successful uncrewed Artemis I mission completed in December, will set the stage for the first woman and first person of color on the Moon through the Artemis program, paving the way for future for long-term human exploration missions to the Moon, and eventually Mars. This is the agency’s Moon to Mars exploration approach. [emphasis mine]

The highlighted words illustrate some important facts. First, this first manned flight of Orion will also be the first that will use the capsule’s life-support systems, which were not included the first flight around the Moon in December. Thus, these four humans are essentially guinea pigs for this engineering. Seems such a plan should have been questioned by NASA’S corrupt safety panel, but then, it is corrupt, and never seems to have much problem with unsafe practices done by NASA itself. Instead, it spends a lot of time making up problems for SpaceX and missing problems at Boeing and NASA.

Second, note NASA’s emphasis on race and sex for the first landing on the Artemis-3 mission. Note too that Artemis-2 crew also includes a black and a woman. Though the press release wisely and correctly makes no mention of race when describing the four astronauts, it does tout the achievements of Christina Koch as a woman, not as a person.

Don’t get me wrong. It is good that a black and a woman are flying to the Moon. It just appears very clear that NASA now has a firm quota system, requiring one of each for every mission.

Finally, there is something not mentioned in the press release or on the Artemis-2 webpage that is very telling. Neither says anything about a launch date, which NASA had previously announced as November 2024. I have been predicting from the beginning that this date is a fantasy. It now appears NASA realizes it but is not yet ready to admit it publicly.