Buckle up, Canada, because we’re officially heading to the moon! NASA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) just revealed the crew of its newest lunar mission, Artemis II, and some exciting ‘firsts’ are in store.

“For the first time in more than 50 years, these individuals – the Artemis II crew – will be the first humans to fly to the vicinity of the Moon. Among the crew are the first woman, the first person of colour, and the first Canadian on a lunar mission,” says Director Vanessa Wyche, NASA Johnson.

Artemis II crew

The space agencies announced the crew members on Monday, April 3rd during an event near NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

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Artemis II mission

According to the release, the mission will last approximately 10 days and is expected to launch sometime next year. Together, the crew will test the Orion spacecraft’s life-support systems. As well, the mission will validate the skills needed for humans to live and work in deep space.

“We are going back to the Moon and Canada is at the center of this exciting journey,” says the Honorable François-Philippe Champagne (CSA). “Thanks to our longstanding collaboration with NASA, a Canadian astronaut will fly on this historic mission. On behalf of all Canadians, I want to congratulate Jeremy for being at the forefront of one of the most ambitious human endeavours ever undertaken.”

The real kicker? Artemis II will explore more of the lunar surface than ever before. And ultimately, the mission will help establish the first long-term presence on the moon!

You can read up on the crew members and their experiences on NASA’s official “Meet the Crew” page.

As for what’s next, NASA and the CSA will use the findings from Artemis II to plan the next ambitious leap: Sending the first astronauts to Mars!