WASHINGTON — Officials at NASA say the mission that will send a Canadian astronaut into lunar space for the first time is still on track to launch in November of next year.
Mission specialist Jeremy Hansen, from London, Ont., was on hand in Florida today for a public update on Artemis II, the first trip to lunar space in 52 years.
Hansen says he and his fellow crewmembers got chills when they were finally able to see inside the capsule that is designed to carry them around the moon.
He says he always knew going to the moon would be difficult — but now that he’s had a closer look behind the scenes, he says it’s even more challenging than he thought.
After orbiting Earth, the crew will rocket hundreds of thousands of kilometres for a figure-8 around the moon before their momentum brings them home.
The mission is a precursor to the next phase of Artemis: to put a man and woman on the moon as early as 2025 in service of eventually dispatching astronauts to Mars.
Artemis II will be the first crewed mission to the moon since the final Apollo mission took flight in 1972. It will make Canada and the U.S. the only two countries to ever venture to the region beyond the dark side of the moon.
The other three astronauts on the Artemis II mission are all American: mission commander Reid Wiseman, pilot Victor Glover and mission specialist Christina Hammock Koch.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 8, 2023.
The Canadian Press