DEC 28, 2023 6:00 AM PST

NASA Artemis II Crew Update: Emergency Scenario Training Plus Meeting with President Biden and VP Harris

NASA’s Artemis II, which consists of Commander Reid Wiseman (NASA), Pilot Victor Glover (NASA), Payload Specialist Christina Koch (NASA), and Mission Specialist Jeremy Hansen (Canadian Space Agency), is currently scheduled to travel to the Moon in November 2024. In preparation for their historic mission, the crew continues to stay mission ready as they recently trained for emergency scenarios in the event they need to quickly exit the Orion spacecraft after a Pacific Ocean splashdown upon their return to Earth, which took place on December 15 at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. While all crewed splashdowns consist of a recovery team arriving on-site to remove the capsule and crew from the water, this training is necessary to ensure safe exit from the capsule before the recovery team shows up on scene.

Image of Artemis II Payload Specialist, Christina Koch (NASA) (foreground), and Mission Specialist, Jeremy Hansen (Canadian Space Agency) being assisted by Artemis II spacesuit technician, Bill Owens during Orion spacecraft exit training. (Credit: NASA/James Blair)

In addition to their ongoing training, the Artemis II crew visited the White House on December 14 to meet with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, the latter of whom is the chair of the National Space Council. During their visit, the crew discussed their upcoming mission, including their ongoing training and what Artemis means for the future of space exploration, specifically international partnerships and the technological innovations that come from the program.  

Artemis II crew members from left to right: Payload Specialist, Christina Koch (NASA), Pilot Victor Glover (NASA), Commander Reid Wiseman (NASA), and Mission Specialist Jeremy Hansen (Canadian Space Agency), pose for a group photo with President Joe Biden in the White House Oval Office on Dec. 14, 2023. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

Artemis II follows in the footsteps of the uncrewed Artemis I mission that will send the four astronauts on a 10-day mission orbiting the Moon. This mission mirrors NASA’s Apollo 8 mission in December 1968. While Artemis II will not land astronauts on the lunar surface, this nonetheless indicates a human return to the Moon for the first time since NASA’s Apollo 17 mission in 1972. The crewed landing on the south pole of the Moon is scheduled to occur on Artemis III within the next few years.

What new discoveries will Artemis II teach us about the Moon and how to live and work in space? Only time will tell, and this is why we science!

As always, keep doing science & keep looking up!

Sources: NASA, NASA (1), NASA (2), NASA (3), NASA (4)

About the Author
Master's (MA/MS/Other)
Laurence Tognetti is a six-year USAF Veteran who earned both a BSc and MSc from the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University. Laurence is extremely passionate about outer space and science communication, and is the author of "Outer Solar System Moons: Your Personal 3D Journey".
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