NASA: NC native named first woman to go to moon

The crew of NASA’s Artemis II mission (left to right): NASA astronauts Christina Hammock Koch,...
The crew of NASA’s Artemis II mission (left to right): NASA astronauts Christina Hammock Koch, Reid Wiseman (seated), Victor Glover, and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen.(NASA)
Published: Apr. 3, 2023 at 12:24 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 3, 2023 at 12:25 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - NASA named four astronauts who will venture around the moon on Artemis II. Among the four is the first woman and North Carolina native Christina Koch.

The Artemis II is the first crewed mission on NASA’s path to establishing a long-term presence at the moon for science and exploration, according to the agency.

NASA said Commander Reid Wiseman, Pilot Victor Glover, Mission Specialist 1 Christina Hammock Koch, and Mission Specialist 2 Jeremy Hansen will work as a team to execute an ambitious set of demonstrations during the flight test.

“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, first person of color, and first Canadian on a lunar mission, and all four astronauts will represent the best of humanity as they explore for the benefit of all,” said Director Vanessa Wyche, NASA Johnson. “This mission paves the way for the expansion of human deep space exploration and presents new opportunities for scientific discoveries, commercial, industry and academic partnerships and the Artemis Generation.”

According to the agency, the approximately 10-day Artemis II flight test will launch on the agency’s powerful Space Launch System rocket, prove the Orion spacecraft’s life-support systems, and validate the capabilities and techniques needed for humans to live and work in deep space.

This will be Koch’s second flight into space on the Artemis II mission. NASA said she served as flight engineer aboard the space station for Expedition 59, 60, and 61. Koch also set a record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman with a total of 328 days in space and participated in the first all-female spacewalks.

Koch grew up in Jacksonville, North Carolina and attended North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC where she earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Electrical Engineering and Physics and a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering.

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