In a historic announcement for the Artemis 2 mission, Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen has been named as one of the four crew members who will embark on the first crewed mission to the Moon’s orbit in over 50 years. Hansen’s selection marks a major milestone for Canada, being the first Canadian to leave earth’s low orbit.
Hansen will join the other USA astronauts Victor Glover, Christina Koch and Reid Wiseman of NASA. Christina Koch will also be the first women in history to leave earth’s low orbit.
Hansen, a former CF-18 fighter pilot and aerospace engineer, has been an active member of the Canadian Space Agency since 2009, and has undergone extensive training in preparation for spaceflight. With over 20 years of experience in the Canadian Armed Forces, Hansen brings a unique skillset to the Artemis 2 mission, which will involve a multi-trans lunar injection and a lunar flyby for a maximum of 21 days. The mission is scheduled for launch as early as November 2024, and will use the Space Launch System and the Orion spacecraft to carry the crew to the Moon’s orbit.
Hansen took to the stage and had the following to say about being part of the announcement
“It is not lost on any of us that the United States could choose to go back to the moon by themselves. But America has made a very deliberate choice over decades to curate a global team. And that in my definition is true leadership. A body an entity that seeks out others who can contribute right, allows them to rise up lifts them up, to make their contributions to bring their genius, that is American leadership and as a Canadian, I am very proud to reflect that back to you and I am grateful. All Canada is all of Canada is grateful for that. global mindset and that leadership so thank you
The second reason is Canada’s can do attitude.
For decades now, literally 1000s upon 1000s of Canadians have risen to that challenge to bring real value to the international partnership with respect to space exploration to bring real solutions 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.”
NASA’s Artemis program is set to make history by sending humans back to the moon for the first time since 1972. This time, the mission is not only to explore the lunar surface but to establish a sustained human presence on the moon and prepare for future crewed missions to Mars.
As part of this ambitious program, the Artemis II mission is scheduled for launch as early as November 2024, and will be the first crewed mission to the moon in over 50 years. This mission will mark a significant milestone for Canada, as Hansen will be the first Canadian to travel beyond Earth’s orbit and orbit around the dark side of the lunar surface. The mission will also include a flyby of the moon and a free return trajectory, showcasing the cutting-edge technology that will pave the way for future space exploration.
Hansen completed his basic training in 2011, and has been assigned to various roles at the CSA since then, including as a Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) in Mission Control for the International Space Station (ISS). He has also worked as a member of the Space Station Operations Branch, supporting the CSA’s space station activities.
Canada has been an active participant in NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to send astronauts back to the Moon by 2024 and eventually establish a sustainable human presence on the lunar surface. As a longstanding partner of NASA, the Canadian Space Agency has contributed a number of technologies and expertise to the program, including the Canadarm2 robotic arm currently operating on the International Space Station. Canada is also providing a next-generation robotic arm called Canadarm3, which will be part of the lunar Gateway station in lunar orbit. With Canadian astronauts like Jeremy Hansen and David Saint-Jacques participating in the Artemis missions, Canada is poised to play a significant role in the exploration and development of the Moon in the coming years.