Left to right:Christina Koch, Victor Glover, Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Jeremy Hansen, and NASA astronaut and Artemis II commander Reid Wiseman {image via NASA}

NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has announced the crew of the first manned voyage of the Orion spacecraft, Artemis II, on its lunar voyage scheduled for November of 2024. The Artemis II mission will be only the second mission for the Orion spacecraft, and its first manned mission. The crew selected by NASA includes three men, and one woman.

Artemis II will not be landing, but will orbit and return to Earth, much as Apollo 8 did in 1968. This mission will be a necessary step in eventually establishing a permanent human presence on the Moon, which may will eventually lead to manned missions to Mars and possibly even the Asteroid Belt.

The Crew of the Artemis II

Mission Specialist Christina Koch is an engineer. She was awarded an honorary Doctor of Sciences degree by North Carolina State University. October 18, 2019, she performed the first all-female spacewalk with Dr. Jessica Meir. Mrs. Koch spent 328 days in space – the longest single continuous stay in space for a woman, exceeding the previous record of 289 days, set by Peggy Whitson.

Piot Victor Glover flew aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon Capsule in 2020 during the first commercial flight to the International Space Station (ISS). Captain Glover, US Navy, has three master’s degrees. He was the first African-American astronaut to live aboard the ISS, as opposed to briefly visiting the station.

Mission Specialist Jeremy Hansen is a Canadian fighter pilot. Colonel Hansen, Royal Canadian Air Force, has a master’s degree in physics and is Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

Mission Commander Reid Wiseman “served as Flight Engineer aboard the International Space Station for Expedition 41. During the 165-day mission, Wiseman and his crewmates spent hundreds of hours conducting valuable scientific research in areas such as human physiology, medicine, physical science, Earth science and astrophysics. They completed a record 82 hours of research in a single week.” He is an aquanaut as well as an astronaut: he commanded the undersea research mission NEEMO21.

Artemis II Legacy and Future

The late Nichelle Nichols worked to recruit more female astronauts and more racial minorities. I think she would be proud of the crew of Artemis II: three men,one of them Black, one woman, and a multinational crew, with three U.S. citizens and one Canadian. I suspect Gene Roddenberry would also approve.

In 1969 NASA left a stainless steel plaque on the Moon. ” ‘Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon July 1969, A.D. We came in peace for all mankind” in capital letters.’ Since 1958, it has been NASA’s policy that “activities in space should be devoted to peaceful purposes for the benefit of all mankind.” Since Canada and the USA have been friends and allies since the early 19th century, it is only right and proper to include a Canadian astronaut. As the old song says, “The Moon Belongs to Everyone.”

We wish them well, a safe journey to the Moon and home again. SciFi.Radio will be watching and reporting the adventures of the crew of Artemis II closely. Stay tuned for further updates as we get them.


Susan Macdonald
Susan Macdonald

Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as 26 short stories, mostly fantasy in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress ”, Swords &Sorceries Vols. 1, 2, & 5, “Cat Tails” “Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions,  Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.