NASA will crew the Artemis II moon mission with three Americans and one Canadian, the agency announced Monday.
The four astronauts will crew the Orion spacecraft on a roughly 10-day mission, which NASA described as "the first crewed flight test and a critical step toward establishing a long-term human presence on the Moon."
Astronauts Christina Koch, Jeremy Hansen, Victor Glover and Reid Wiseman will crew the vessel. Wiseman is the commander and Glover will be the pilot while Koch and Hansen will serve as mission specialists, according to NASA's statement.
"The crew of four astronauts will lift off on the approximately 10-day mission from Launch Complex 39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, blazing beyond Earth's grasp atop the agency's mega Moon rocket. Over the course of about two days, they will check out Orion's systems and perform a targeting demonstration test relatively close to Earth before then beginning the trek toward the Moon," NASA wrote.
"Orion's European-built service module will give the spacecraft the big push needed to break free from Earth orbit and set course for the Moon. This trans-lunar injection burn will send the astronauts on an outbound trip of about four days, taking them around the far side of the Moon, where they will ultimately create a figure eight extending more than 230,000 miles from Earth. At their max distance, the crew will fly about 6,400 miles beyond the Moon. During the approximate four-day return trip, the astronauts will continue to evaluate the spacecraft's systems," NASA continued.
Upon reentry, the agency says the astronauts will land in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of San Diego.
The crew announcement comes weeks after NASA and Axiom Space unveiled the space suits humans will one day wear on the surface of the moon during the eventual Artemis III mission.
Artemis II, which will be the first crewed mission to orbit the moon since the Apollo program, is set to launch in late 2024. The crewed mission that will land on the moon, Artemis III, is scheduled for 2025.