Ahead of their 10-day mission to the Moon, the Artemis 2 crew members will be undergoing 18 months of training to learn how to operate the spacecraft and what to do in case of an emergency.
The Artemis 2 astronauts are set to begin their training in June, preparing them for humanity’s return to the Moon more than 50 years after the Apollo era, NASA announced this week. NASA astronauts Victor Glover, who will serve as pilot for the mission, Christina Koch, Reid Wiseman, and Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen, will receive “detailed lessons” on the Orion spacecraft and the Space Launch System rocket, according to the space agency.
“We’re building a robust training plan for the crew to ensure they’re ready for every aspect of this first mission to the Moon under Artemis on our newest spacecraft and rocket,” Jacki Mahaffey, lead training officer for the Artemis 2 crew, said in a statement. “Since this is the first time we’ll train crew for Artemis missions, Reid, Victor, Christina, and Jeremy are going to be integral to helping us refine future training requirements, as well.”
The training will take place at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas where the space agency has an Orion simulator and a mockup of the crew module.
For the first part of their training, the crew members will learn how to operate key systems on board the spacecraft for daily operations, as well as the different phases of the mission like the launch, entering lunar orbit, and traveling back through Earth’s atmosphere before finally splashing down in the Pacific Ocean. They will also practice using Orion’s crew displays, vehicle controls, and audio and imagery systems.
Aside from learning how to operate the spacecraft, the crew will also be prepped for water survival and emergency exit operations, and practice how to use the medical devices on board, and Orion’s life support systems. Of the four astronauts, only Hanson has not previously flown to space; Glover, Wiseman, and Koch have all done long duration stints on the International Space Station and are among NASA’s most experienced active astronauts.
The Artemis 2 mission is scheduled to launch in late 2024, carrying the four-person crew on a trip around the Moon and back. This crew will not land on the lunar surface, but will instead travel to the far side of the Moon at a distance of about 230,000 miles (370,150 kilometers) away from Earth.
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“The crew of our Artemis II test flight will pave the way for the incredible science at the forefront of all of our future crewed missions,” NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy said in a statement. “Their flight test expertise and personal bravery as they journey to the Moon will enable the next big step in our Moon to Mars strategy.”