The first astronauts to fly around the Moon under NASA’s Artemis program visited the White House in Washington Thursday, and met with President Joe Biden in the Oval Office to thank him for his leadership and discuss their upcoming flight test. Artemis II crew members are NASA astronauts Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover, and Christina Koch, and CSA (Canadian Space Agency) astronaut Jeremy Hansen.
The mission is currently targeted for late 2024. After launching on NASA’s SLS (Space Launch System) rocket from the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the crew will travel aboard the Orion spacecraft on a 10-day mission around the Moon, testing its systems for the first time with astronauts for long-term exploration and scientific discovery through Artemis. Driving both human and robotic exploration at the Moon and Mars, science is a key foundation of NASA’s work.
The astronauts also discussed training and plans for their mission with the President, as well as lunar science, including a Moon rock on display in the Oval Office. That rock was collected in 1972 by Apollo astronauts Harrison Schmitt and Eugene Cernan, the last humans to step foot on the lunar surface. Samples collected on future Artemis missions will continue to help humanity shed light on how the Moon formed and evolved, how it interacts with the Sun, and how water and other resources arrived at the Moon and are preserved.
While at the White House, the astronauts also met separately with Vice President Kamala Harris, who serves as the chair of the National Space Council. They discussed how Artemis represents the power of technological innovation and international collaboration.
Through Artemis, the U.S. is leading, innovating, discovering, and inspiring humanity for the benefit of all.
For more information about NASA’s mission, visit: