Set to launch on a Space Launch System mega rocket in 2024, NASA astronauts Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover, Christina Koch and Jeremy Hansen of the Canadian Space Agency will fly around the moon, much like Apollo 8, on their Orion spacecraft.
Commander Reid Wiseman: "This is a global effort Artemis 2, and it's only going to get larger with Artemis 3 and beyond as we get private spaceflight involved. SpaceX is building our lander for Artemis three. So to the NASA workforce, to our program managers, our center directors that are here, the amazing political support that we feel right now to bring our country together to bring our entire world together to go explore to get to Mars and beyond, we say a huge thank you."
Pilot Victor Glover: "We need to celebrate this moment in human history. Because Artemis two is more than a mission to the moon and it's more than a mission that has to happen before we send people to the surface of the moon. It is the next step on the journey that gets humanity to Mars.
"Human spaceflight is like a relay race, and that baton has been passed generation to generation and from crew member to crew member from the Gemini, Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Apollo Soyuz, Skylab Mir, the shuttle, International Space Station, commercial crew and and now the Artemis missions. We understand our role in that. And when we have the privilege of having that baton. We're going to do our best to run a good race to make you proud. I pray that God will bless this mission. But I also pray that we can continue to serve as a source of inspiration for cooperation and peace, not just between nations, but in our own nation."
Mission specialist Christina Koch: "When I think about this mission, that's a relay race with international partners, it's all so awesome in and of itself.
"We are going to launch for Kennedy Space Center to the work of the exploration Ground Systems team. We're going to hear the words go for launch on top of the most powerful rocket NASA's ever made the Space Launch System, and we're gonna ride that rocket for eight minutes into Earth orbit. We're not going to go to the moon right away. We're gonna stay in an amazing high orbit, reaching a peak of tens of thousands of miles while we test out all the systems on Orion and see how it maneuvers in space. And then if everything was good, we're heading to the moon.
"It will be a four day journey, going a quarter of a million miles, continuing to test out every bit of Orion going around the far side of the moon, heading home going through the Earth's atmosphere at over 25,000 miles per hour and splashing down in the Pacific. So am I excited? Absolutely. But my real question is Are you excited? I asked that because the one thing I'm most excited about is that we are going to carry your excitement, your aspirations, your dreams with us on this mission. Artemis to your mission."
Mission specialist Jeremy Hansen: "Our scientists or engineers, the Canadian Space Agency, the Canadian Armed Forces across government, all of our leadership working together under a vision to take step by step and all of those have added up to this moment where a Canadian is going to the moon with our international partnership and it is glorious."