NASA and CSA will announce the Artemis II astronauts on April 3rd
After the success of Artemis I mission, with the launch and return of the Orion capsule (unmanned) and with the analyzes showing more than encouraging results, we are thinking about the future of human exploration of space. In particular, we look at the second mission of the new international space program, aimed at establishing a semi-permanent colony moon (or in orbit around it).
Therefore, after the Apollo 17 mission (1972), a human crew will go beyond low Earth orbit to orbit our natural satellite for the second part of the test program of the new systems, which will include both the vector (NASA SLS, Space Launch System), that the ground systems and of course the Orion capsule. It is currently known that the Artemis II Mission could be planned around In the end of 2024.
Artemis II: the astronauts’ announcement for April 3rd
Before the manned announcement of the future space mission, another major event is scheduled for March 15, 2023. As a matter of fact NASA And axiom space will reveal the prototypes of new space suits dedicated to space exploration (and used in the third mission). These will be solutions that should be more advanced, more powerful and more comfortable than those used both during the Apollo missions and during spacewalk activities on the ISS. this event will be streamed live from Space Center Houston on March 15, 2023 at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Back to the announcementcrew From Artemis IIwe know that it will consist of four astronauts. Three astronauts they will be NASA While an astronaut will be CSA extension (Canadian Space Agency). This announcement comes as no surprise as the program has been announced before, while the announcement of the presence of a Canadian astronaut dates back to late 2020.
The live will be over 17:00 (Italian time) on April 3, 2023 from Johnson Space Center’s Ellington Field. That’s what the press release says “The four astronauts who will venture around the moon. The mission, which will travel aboard NASA’s Orion spacecraft during Artemis II, is the first manned test flight in the agency’s path to establishing a long-term scientific and human presence on the lunar surface.”.
Always under the various notes, it is reminded that the mission should last about ten days and will serve as a further test to stress the life support systems of the Orion spaceship (part of the components are carried over from the first spacecraft) and to demonstrate the skills needed to live and work in space. In addition, between the second and third missions, the lunar lander based on a modified spaceship (from SpaceX) must be tried out.
The choice of a Canadian (CSA) astronaut is because the agency funded the construction of the astronaut robotic arm Canadarm3 used on the Lunar Gateway. Hence the astronautsESA.
In particular, it is not yet clear when a ESA astronaut will attend one Artemis Mission (although it sure will happen). Although there are no official statements yet, it is unlikely that an ESA astronaut will be on board the Artemis III lunar landing mission, while it is much more likely that this will be for a potential III.5 mission (a second lunar landing pending completion) of the could be the case of the Lunar Gateway) or during Artemis IV, the mission that will serve to begin the assembly of the orbiting outpost. ESA contributed by building the Orion service module and building part of the gateway. Because of this, its role in this space program is not secondary.