For the first time in 50 years, NASA will conduct another mission to fly around the moon. The space agency has tapped Victor J. Glover Jr., an African American, to take part in the lunar mission, Reuters reports. NASA also made history by naming Christina Koch to the mission, she will be the first woman to travel to the moon. The scheduled 10-day mission is set to take place late next year.
The crew, which includes three Americans and one Canadian, will not land on the moon but rather fly around in the lunar orbit before returning to Earth. The purpose of the mission “is to demonstrate that all of Orion's life-support apparatus and other systems will operate as designed with astronauts aboard in deep space.”
During a ceremony, on Monday, held at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, the team of astronauts that comprise Artemis II was formally announced.
“It’s so much more than the four names that have been announced,” Glover said. “We need to celebrate this moment in human history. … It is the next step in the journey that will get humanity to Mars.”
"The Artemis II crew represents thousands of people working tirelessly to bring us to the stars. This is humanity's crew," NASA Administrator Bill Nelson added. "We are going."
On Sunday, President Joe Biden congratulated the team members of Artemis II in a private call.
A native of Pomona, California, Glover brings a wealth of experience as a member of Artemis II, including completing 168 days in orbit and participating in four spacewalks. According to his biography on NASA's site, he earned a Bachelor of Science in General Engineering from California Polytechnic State University; a Master of Science in Flight Test Engineering (USAF TPS) from Air University; a Master of Science in Systems Engineering (PD‐21) from Naval Postgraduate School; and a Master of Military Operational Art and Science, Air University
Additionally, Glover holds memberships in Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) Alumni; Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated (Life Member); Society of Experimental Test Pilots; National Society of Black Engineers; International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE); and Tailhook Association.