Wednesday, December 9, 2020

One of these astronauts may be the first woman on the moon

Eighteen U.S. astronauts have been chosen to train for the Artemis missions, which aim to return humans to the lunar surface.

NASA astronaut Christina Koch takes a space selfie with Earth behind her. She and fellow NASA astronaut Jessica Meir ventured into the vacuum of space for seven hours and 17 minutes during the first all-woman spacewalk on October 18, 2019. Photograph by Christina Koch, NASA

Nadia Drake
National Geographic

Nearly 50 years have passed since we last landed on the moon, when the three-person crew of NASA’s Apollo 17 mission touched down near the edge of an ancient lava sea called Mare Serenitatis.

Now, the space agency is again bound for the lunar surface, revving up a program called Artemis that could send humans back to the moon within this decade. This time, though, it won’t be only men making the journey: NASA promises that the first woman to press her boots into the razor-sharp moondust will be on the inaugural Artemis flight to the surface.

Today, the agency finally revealed which of its 47 active astronauts have been assigned to Artemis, to train for humanity’s historic return to the moon.

“Our goal is to go to the moon sustainably, to learn how to live and work on another world,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said during a meeting of the National Space Council, announcing the names of the 18 astronauts selected for training.  Read more >>