Tech & Science

Canadian Jeremy Hansen named to NASA’s Artemis II mission around the moon

Jeremy Hansen will soon stand on his own in Canadian space history.

Hansen, 47, will become the first non-American to leave Earth’s orbit when he joins the Artemis II lunar mission next year, officials said Monday.

As a mission specialist, Hansen will be one of four astronauts assigned to a 10-day mission scheduled to launch in November 2024, according to NASA and Canadian Space Agency officials. His three other astronauts on the mission are all American. Christina Hammock Koch, Victor Glover, G. Reid He Wiseman.

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If successful, it would be the first time a human has approached the moon since the Apollo program more than 50 years ago.

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“Our scientists, engineers, the Canadian Space Agency, the Canadian military across the government, and our leadership all working together … added this moment when Canadians go to the moon with our international partnership. It’s a glorious one, Hansen said Monday.

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Jeremy Hansen becomes first Canadian to orbit the moon

“Finally, we are in awe of going to the moon together, remembering that strong leadership, a passion for cooperation, setting big goals, and a do-it-yourself attitude can be achieved. let’s go.”

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The last astronauts visited the moon in December 1972, ending the Apollo program. To date, he has had 24 men—all American—visit the moon, and half of them have walked on the moon.

The mission to go around the moon and back will take about 10 days. It takes about 4 days just for a round trip.

It builds on the success of Artemis I, an unmanned flight that traveled 1.4 million miles beyond the Moon and returned to Earth after 25 days last December.

Because that mission was conducted to ensure safe reentry, descent, landing, and recovery using the new Orion spacecraft, NASA said that when a crew member, including a Canadian, was on board Ready for Artemis II.

“There have been 24 people who have seen the circle of the Earth with their own eyes, and now a Canadian will be among the next to see it. It will be the first non-American to do so.” It’s a big deal,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters at the Bal d’Or in Coue.

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Prime Minister Trudeau praises Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen for making space history

“This is a credit to Jeremy, but also to the amazing scientists, researchers and workers who continue to advance science at the Canadian Space Agency and at scientific institutions around the world. What a great day for Canada. It’s a great day for everyone.”

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The space agency plans to send four astronauts around the moon in 2024, but hopes to attempt a two-person lunar landing in 2025, along with the launch of Artemis III. .

With the Artemis mission, NASA aims to explore the lunar surface further with plans to build a sustainable presence on it. The ultimate goal is to reach Mars by the late 2030s.

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“The Artemis II crew represents the thousands of people working tirelessly to bring us to the stars,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.

“This is their crew. This is our crew. This is humanity’s crew.”

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Biden says Canadians will fly on Artemis II mission: ‘Canada and US can do big things together’

Canada’s current astronaut corps consists of just four people, including Colonel Hansen from London, Ontario, and a CF-18 pilot from the Royal Canadian Air Force.

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David Saint-Jacques, 53, an astrophysicist and doctor from Montreal, is the only member of the group who has already been to space. He went to the International Space Station in 2018 and was selected as an astronaut with Hansen in 2009.

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Chris Hadfield, whom many Canadians know for his popular videos while deployed to the ISS, retired from the program in 2013.

The Canadian Astronaut Corps is also made up of test pilots and Air Force lieutenants. Joshua Kutryk, 41, from Fort Saskatchewan, Calif. Jennifer Sidey-Gibbons, 34, a mechanical engineer from Calgary and a lecturer at Cambridge University.

Astronauts aside, Canada is engaged in cutting-edge research that will help shape the Artemis program.

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For example, the Deep Space Food Challenge, launched in 2021, will require participants to develop methods of producing food in the harsh environments of deep space, where few of the resources one day will need to sustain life. there is.

Canada and NASA have worked together since the early 1960s, when the US space program was at its peak. At this time, the first Canadian satellite was launched on a US rocket.

The Canada Arm, an iconic shuttle program fixture decorated with maple leaves, later cemented Canada’s status as a nation the United States could rely on.

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Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Industry, said: “Our partnership, underpinned by bold initiative and scientific excellence, and most importantly by Canadians, will allow us to share this moment with our American partners and friends. Proud.

“This is not just about returning to the moon. This is about investing in the future. This is about potential. This is about seizing opportunities in this space economy, from health to food security to climate change.” Let’s seize the moment as we embark on this new space age together. Inspire them to become explorers.”

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— Using files from Global News’ Saba Aziz and The Canadian Press

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