With a lot going on here on Earth, you may have missed an exciting development: astronauts will soon return to the moon!
Earlier this month, NASA and the Canadian Space Agency announced the four astronauts chosen for the Artemis II, a 10-day mission scheduled for next year that will set the stage for the moon landing in 2025, according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription). Manufacturers are heavily involved with the newest lunar program, as they have been throughout the history of space flight.
The background: The Artemis II mission “is designed to test how the vehicles and other hardware NASA is using for its exploration program perform with crew members.”
- Astronauts will “test Orion’s life-support systems and ability to protect those on the flight from radiation,” while preparing for the 2025 landing.
The astronauts will fly around the moon but will not set foot on its surface.
Who’s going: “Americans Christina Koch, Victor Glover and Reid Wiseman, and Canadian Jeremy Hansen, are the quartet chosen for the flight, officials from the two agencies said.” This lineup also includes a number of firsts:
- Koch will be the first woman to travel to the moon, while Glover will be the first African American. In addition, Hansen will be the first Canadian.
Out-of-this-world manufacturing: Manufacturers are playing key roles in the Artemis program. For example:
- “Lockheed Martin developed Orion,” the spacecraft that will transport the Artemis II crew “6,400 miles beyond the moon and back to Earth.”
- Meanwhile, “Boeing and Northrop Grumman are responsible for different parts of the SLS rockets that NASA is using for Artemis missions.”
Further reading: We were excited to cover the new lunar mobile designed and built by GM and Lockheed Martin, and its tires specially designed by Goodyear, back in 2022. Check out those articles for more fascinating moon material, and keep an eye out for the answer to that all-important question: how do you change a tire on the moon?