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What we know about the astronauts who will return to the moon

What we know about the astronauts who will return to the moon

“Two Japanese astronauts will participate in future American missions, and one of them will be the first non-American to land on the moon.”US President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday, April 10, during a press conference in Washington With the Japanese Prime MinisterFumio Kishida. The latter received “A huge success in the space sector”announcing that Japan would provide a highly advanced lunar rover in return.

Humanity returns to the moon with the Artemis mission

In order for Japan-US cooperation to become effective, “Important steps” You will have to “It must be crossed” In this area, According to a joint statement by the heads of the American and Japanese space agencies. The lunar module provided by Japan will be able to accommodate astronauts without suits for up to thirty consecutive days. “America will no longer walk on the moon alone”Announced Bill Nelson, head of NASA.

American in lunar orbit

The Artemis program opened in 2022 with the Artemis 1 spacecraft, which successfully flew a vacuum vehicle around the Moon. “Artemis 2” is scheduled to be launched in 2025, and will send four astronauts on a trip to orbit around the moon, without landing there. It will be about Three Americans and one Canadian, already in training. Among them is NASA astronaut Christina Koch, who will participate in the flight. She will be the first woman to reach the orbit of our natural satellite, about 385,000 kilometers from Earth.

Space: What does the Japanese SLIM module have to contribute to knowledge of the Moon?

Despite recent announcements, Artemis 3, which will be the first manned mission to land on the moon since 1972, does not yet have an official crew. In response to a question about the mission in which the first Japanese astronaut will participate, NASA responded that it had not announced any crews after Artemis 2.

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First “person of color”

However, it has already been announced that the Artemis mission, which aims to establish a permanent human presence on the Moon, plans to send the first woman and the first “person of colour” to the lunar surface.

The Apollo program was active between 1969 and 1972, taking 12 American men, all white, to the moon. These are the only humans to have set foot on lunar soil so far. This desire to integrate and diversify crews represents an important change in the history of space exploration.

The new American special lander takes off on the moon

For its part, the European Space Agency (ESA) already has three places reserved within its Artemis programme. It has been confirmed that a European astronaut will be aboard Artemis 4 and Artemis 5. Their identity is not yet known. But will European astronauts remain in orbit around the Moon or will they ascend to the surface? Which “A topic for further discussion.”“This is confirmed by Daniel Neuenschwander, Director of Exploration at the European Space Agency.