NASA is just a short time away from revealing the four astronauts who will be taking a trip to the moon, possibly next year.
The Artemis II mission’s Orion spacecraft won’t touch down on the lunar surface, however. Instead, it’ll perform a close flyby as part of a test flight to put through its paces all of the technology on NASA’s new crew capsule.
The space agency is already very confident about the Orion’s performance as last year a crewless mission saw the spacecraft take a trip to the moon and back as part of Artemis I.
The Artemis II mission will see the Orion and its crew of four astronauts pass within just 80 miles of lunar surface before returning to Earth in a mission set to
Artemis II will also fly humans further from our planet than ever before, reaching a location some 270,000 miles away. Besides a place in the record books, the experience will also give the crew an astonishing view of Earth, with the moon in between them and our own so-called “blue marble.”
NASA describes the Artemis II mission as “the first crewed flight test and a critical step toward establishing a long-term human presence on the moon.”
Following Artemis II, the space agency plans an even bolder mission, to return humans to the lunar surface in the Artemis III mission, currently targeted for 2025.
How to watch the big reveal
On Monday, April 3, NASA will unveil the four astronauts who will travel to the moon as part of the Artemis II mission, which is scheduled for November next year.
NASA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) will reveal the three NASA astronauts and one CSA astronaut during a special event at NASA’s Johnson Space Center’s Ellington Field in Houston, Texas.
The event will begin at event at 11 a.m. ET (10 a.m. CT/8 a.m. PT). You can watch it via the player embedded at the top of this page, or by visiting NASA’s YouTube channel, which will carry the same feed.