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What we know about the Artemis II mission

Earlier this week, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration announced the names of the crew of the Orion capsule. The four-astronaut team is scheduled to travel to and around the moon (without landing or going into lunar orbit) before returning home to Earth in late 2024. Here’s what we know about the crew and the Artemis II mission so far.

In this article: A Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put America on the MoonLogrotate Moon Lamp and Gskyer Telescope.

Who are the crew members of the Orion?

The four crew members of the Orion are Reid Wiseman, Victor J. Glover, Jr., Christina Koch and Jeremy Hansen.

  • Reid Wiseman, the mission’s commander, served as flight engineer on the 165-day mission of the International Space Station for Expedition 41 in 2014. Reid spent nearly 13 hours as lead spacewalker during two trips outside the orbital complex.
  • Victor J. Glover, Jr., the mission’s pilot, served as flight engineer on the International Space Station for Expedition 64. More recently, he served as pilot and second-in-command on the Crew-1 SpaceX Crew Dragon, named Resilience.
  • Christina Koch, mission specialist, served as flight engineer on the International Space Station for Expedition 59, 60 and 61. With a total of 328 days in space, Koch holds the record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman.
  • Jeremy Hansen, mission specialist, began his journey at age 12 when he joined 614 Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron. Hansen served as a crewmember of NEEMO 19, where he lived and worked on the ocean floor to simulate deep-space exploration. He is also the first Canadian to lead a NASA astronaut class that trains astronaut candidates from both the U.S. and Canada.

What is the Artemis II mission?

Reportedly, the Apollo program was shut down half a century ago due to budgetary reasons. Now, with a new budget and a new goal, the NASA space program has rebranded and relaunched as the Artemis program. 

Artemis is a robot and human exploration program that combines the resources of NASA, the European Space Agency, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and the Canadian Space Agency. It involves a series of increasingly complex missions that will eventually land humans on Mars.

The Artemis II mission is the first crewed mission in the program. The flight pattern is a figure 8 around the Earth and the moon. Currently, the launch date is set for November 2024, and the planned duration of the trip is 10 days.

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Best A Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put America on the Moon

A Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put America on the Moon

This book is the true story of Katherine Johnson, the remarkable woman who started college at 15, joined NASA and was instrumental in getting the U.S. into space and onto the moon. This 40-page picture book is for ages 4 to 8.

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Since not everyone can travel to the moon, the next best thing is to bring the moon to you. This realistic moon lamp is a fascinating night-light that can flash, fade, strobe or just remain one of 16 colors. The included remote also lets you control brightness and turn it on or off.

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If you’re intrigued by the moon, you can take a closer look with this powerful telescope. It features a large aperture, a fully coated optics glass lens and wireless operation so even beginners can locate and capture celestial images.

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This refractor telescope has a lightweight frame, a red dot finderscope and an adjustable tripod. The slow-motion control knobs let you make precision adjustments with little effort, and the simple setup requires no tools.

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The Gosky monocular telescope isn’t ideal for nighttime use. However, it has a 12 times magnification that is excellent for distance viewing. It’s simple to use and comes with a hand strap to reduce the risk of dropping. The long eye relief provides greater comfort for extended watching.

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GeoSafari Jr. Talking Telescope (STEM Toy)

If you’re looking for a telescope for a child, this talking model is an excellent option. It has 24 built-in images from NASA and 240 fun facts that make learning about space exciting. The child-friendly viewer lets kids see images with both eyes.

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