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NASA Chooses 18 Astronauts to Travel to the Moon

The group includes the next men since 1972 and the first-ever women who will step onto the lunar surface in 2024.

NASA Chooses 18 Astronauts to Travel to the Moon
Astronaut Kate Rubins, also part of the program. NASA/Wikimedia Commons

NASA announced its initial 18 astronauts who are set to travel in the space agency's Moon missions under its Artemis Program

Some of the picked astronauts have already been to space, some are currently in space, and others will see their first flight into space. 

The team consists of nine women and nine men who U.S. Vice-President, Mike Pence, listed at the National Space Council in Florida. He said "My fellow Americans, I give you the heroes of the future who will carry us back to the Moon and beyond."

The named group includes the next man and the first woman who will step onto the lunar surface in 2024.

SEE ALSO: NASA WILL ANNOUNCE MAJOR NEWS ABOUT THE MOON

The 18 astronauts were picked from NASA's 47 active astronauts, two of which are currently onboard the International Space Station (ISS): Victor Glover and Kate Rubins. 

On Earth, NASA astronaut Anne McClain, who was one of the nine women selected, said at the meeting, "We represent all walks of life in America. And every kid in America, and across the world even, now needs to look and say, you know, if you look like me, I can do this."

These 18 astronauts are only the first group to be selected, as NASA administrator, Jim Bridenstine, explained, "This is the first cadre of our Artemis astronauts. I want to be clear, there's going to be more."

The upcoming Artemis Program will see the next man land back on the Moon since Apollo 17 in 1972, and it will mark the first time a woman astronaut ever sets foot on the Moon. 

The main flight will see these two astronauts land on the Moon in 2024, which will then be followed by other flights and other astronauts aboard the Orion spacecraft. 

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The full list of chosen astronauts is as follows, as reported by the BBC

  • Joseph Acaba. Born 1967, Anaheim, California. Astronaut selection: 2004. Three flights - shuttle (2009), Soyuz (2012; 2018)
  • Kayla Barron. Born 1987, Pocatello, Idaho. Astronaut selection: 2017. No flights
  • Raja Chari. Born 1977, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Astronaut selection: 2017. No flights
  • Matthew Dominick. Born 1981, Wheat Ridge, Colorado. Astronaut selection: 2017. No flights.
  • Victor Glover. Born 1976, Pomona, California. Astronaut selection: 2013. One flight - Crew Dragon (2020)
  • Warren Hoburg. Born 1985, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Astronaut selection: 2017. No flights
  • Jonny Kim. Born 1984, Los Angeles, California. Astronaut selection: 2020. No flights
  • Christina Koch. Born 1979, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Astronaut selection: 2013. One flight - Soyuz (2019)
  • Kjell Lindgren. Born 1973, Taipei, Taiwan. Astronaut selection: 2009. One flight - Soyuz (2015)
  • Nicole A Mann. Born 1977, Petaluma, California. Astronaut selection: 2013. No flights, assigned to Boeing Starliner crew
  • Anne McClain. Born 1979, Spokane, Washington. Astronaut selection: 2013. One flight - Soyuz (2018)
  • Jessica Meir. Born 1977, Caribou, Maine. Astronaut selection: 2013. One flight - Soyuz (2019)
  • Jasmin Moghbeli. Born 1983, Bad Nauheim, West Germany. Astronaut selection: 2017. No flights
  • Kate Rubins. Born 1978, Farmington, Connecticut. Astronaut selection: 2009. Two flights - Soyuz (2016; 2020)
  • Frank Rubio. Born 1975, Los Angeles, California. Astronaut selection: 2017. No flights
  • Scott Tingle. Born 1965, Attleboro, Massachusetts. Astronaut selection: 2009. One flight - Soyuz (2017)
  • Jessica Watkins. Born 1988. Gaithersburg, Maryland. Astronaut selection: 2017. No flights
  • Stephanie Wilson. Born 1966, Boston, Massachusetts. Astronaut selection: 1996. Three fllights - shuttle (2006; 2007; 2010)
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