Artemis 2 moon astronaut says his 1st space launch will feel epic (Image Credit: Space.com)
One of the Artemis 2 astronauts will mark his first trip in space with a trip to the moon.
Canadian Space Agency mission specialist Jeremy Hansen recently shared in a video on X, formerly Twitter, how he and the rest of the Artemis 2 crew plan to get to the moon in 2024, including what he expects to feel on the big launch day.
“You can imagine what it’s really going to be like to come up to the launch pad and have this living, breathing rocket full of fuel, moaning and groaning and creaking,” Hansen said, reflecting on a launch day exercise his crew did on the mobile launch tower at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in September.
Artemis 2 is expected to launch four individuals around the moon in 2024 or so. Hansen will be joining a crew of three NASA astronauts who have all been to space before: commander Reid Wiseman, pilot Victor Glover (the first person of color to leave low Earth orbit) and mission specialist Christina Koch (the first woman.)
Destination: Moon! As we wrap up 2023, @astro_jeremy provides an update on the first six months of his training for the historic #Artemis II mission to the Moon. pic.twitter.com/Cs9RDY9LU7December 22, 2023
The Artemis 1 mission in late 2022 successfully tested out most of the Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System (SLS) rocket systems during a trip around the moon. Artemis 2 will take that a step further with humans on board, and will include a test of Orion’s life support system for the first time.
To minimize risk, the crew plans to execute a series of progressively higher Earth orbit exercises before flying on to the moon. They will also circle the moon, but not orbit it, allowing for gravity to naturally bring them back to Earth after roughly nine days in space.
Much of the crew’s time is spent developing procedures in the Orion simulator, Hansen said in the video. “It’s still in development, (but) does some basic things,” he noted.
After Artemis 2 will come Artemis 3, currently manifested for 2025 or 2026. The mission will touch down on the moon using SpaceX’s Starship system, if it is ready in time. But between delays with Starship and with spacesuits being developed by Axiom Space, NASA’s Government Accountability Office recently suggested 2027 may be a more realistic target.