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2 Navy pilots among astronauts who will make historic spaceflight to the moon

Navy Capt. Victor Glover and Capt. Reid Wiseman will be a part of NASA's Artemis II mission.
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U.S. Navy Capt. Victor Glover (left) and Capt. Reid Wiseman (right), crew members on NASA's upcoming Artemis II mission, which will be the first to travel to the moon in more than 50 years. (NASA)

It’s been more than 50 years since astronauts last traveled to the moon, or even distanced more than 400 miles from Earth’s surface. In November 2024, though, the National Aeronautics and Space Organization (NASA) plans to launch Artemis II, the first manned mission to orbit the moon since Apollo 17 in 1972. On Monday, at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, NASA announced the crew for this historic mission, among them two accomplished naval aviators: Capt. Gregory Reid Wiseman and Capt. Victor Glover.

Wiseman, who will serve as the Artemis II mission commander, commissioned into the Navy in 1997 and qualified as a naval aviator in 1999. Flying the F-14 Tomcat, he completed two deployments supporting Operation Southern Watch, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, before being accepted as a Navy test pilot in 2003. In 2009, Wiseman was accepted into NASA’s astronaut program, and in 2014 he completed his first trip to space – lasting 165 days aboard the International Space Station. 

Glover will serve as the mission’s pilot. He earned his pilot’s wings in 2001, and deployed in 2003 as a F/A-18C pilot in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Beginning in 2007, Glover served for two years as a test pilot, flying the F/A-18 Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler. He was accepted into the astronaut program in 2013. In November 2020, Glover made his first trip to space, as the pilot of the first SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule to dock with the International Space Station. 

Glover spent 168 days aboard the International Space Station, completing four spacewalks. 

Rounding out the Artemis II crew are mission specialists Christina Koch and Jeremy Hansen. Koch spent nearly a year aboard the International Space Station between 2019 and 2020. Hansen is both a fellow pilot and will be the first Canadian to travel into deep space, having flown CF-18 Hornets in the Canadian Air Force from 2004-2009 before qualifying for astronaut training. 

The Artemis missions are part of the first planned exploration of the moon by people since the 1970s. Artemis I, an unmanned orbit of the moon, returned to Earth in December 2022. Following the completion of Artemis II, a third mission would involve actually sending people back to the moon’s surface.  

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