NASA to announce four astronauts who will travel around the moon on Artemis II


(NEW YORK) — NASA and the Canadian Space Agency are preparing to announce the four astronauts who will partake in the next Artemis mission and fly around the moon.

The Artemis II team will be made up of three Americans and one Canadian and is expected to include the first woman and the first person of color who will eventually go on to step foot on the lunar surface.

The agencies will make the announcement Monday at 11 a.m. ET at the NASA Johnson Space Center’s Ellington Field in Houston, Texas.

It comes after the Artemis I mission was completed in December last year after spending 25.5 days in space and making a 1.4-million-mile journey around the moon, according to NASA.

Artemis I was the first step of NASA’s ambitious plan to establish a long-term presence on the moon and, later on, to send a crewed shuttle to Mars.

Artemis II is scheduled to send four astronauts into space in 2024 for a lunar flyby before returning to Earth.

It will be the first crewed mission aboard NASA’s new Orion spacecraft and the first to launch on the agency’s new heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System.

The mission will take approximately 10 days, but the system will need to undergo massive amounts of testing first to make sure it can support humans living and working in deep space, NASA said.

This will be the first set of missions that NASA has used to send a crew to the moon since the Apollo 17 mission in December 1972, more than 50 years ago.

The mission broke several records including the longest spacewalk and largest lunar samples brought back to Earth and also involved several experiments, including sending five mice into space with the crew.

In total, the Artemis expedition includes four missions, each of which will cost roughly $4.1 billion. The project will cost up to $93 billion by 2025, according to an audit from the NASA Office of the Inspector General.

Artemis III plans to send four astronauts to the moon in 2025 while Artemis IV plans to be the second lunar landing in 2027.

In addition to setting up a permanent base camp on the moon, the program aims to be the gateway to eventual human missions to Mars.

ABC News’ GIna Sunseri contributed to this report.

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