Humans will return to the moon for the first time in more than 50 years and NASA has announced the first team of astronauts that will serve the program.
Humans will return to the moon for the first time in more than 50 years and NASA has announced the first team of astronauts that will serve the program.

First woman on moon named

US space agency NASA has announced the team of astronauts that are bound for its return to the moon, including the woman who is due to be the first to step foot on the lunar surface.

Some of the 18 astronauts announced on Thursday are seasoned veterans while others have never left Earth before, and some of them are in space right now.

"My fellow Americans, I give you the heroes of the future who will carry us back to the Moon and beyond," US Vice-President Mike Pence said when announcing the crew.

NASA's Artemis program aims to return a space craft with humans on board to the moon in 2024 for the first time in more than 50 years.

The last manned trip to the moon was Apollo 17 in 1972.

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Only three of the newly announced team were even alive the last time humans stepped foot on the moon.

That trio is made up of Joseph Acaba, 53, Scott Tingle, 55, and Stephanie Wilson, 54, all three of whom have been to space at least once before.

Nine of the astronauts have never been to space and they include: Kayla Barron, 33, Raja Chari, 43, Matthew Dominick, 39, Warren Hoburg, 35, Jonny Kim, 36, Nicole Mann, 43, Jasmin Moghbeli, 37, Frank Rubio, 44, and Jessica Watkins, 42.

Returning astronauts include Christina Koch, 41, and Jessica Meir, 43, both of whom conducted the first all-female space walk last year.

Kjell Lindgren, 47, will return to space for the first time since 2015 and Anne McClain, 41, last left Earth in 2018.

Kate Rubins, 42, has been in space since October.

Victor Glover, 44, is also currently in space, where he's become the first African-American to spend an extended amount of time on the International Space Station.

He was also among the first crew on an "operational flight" conducted by Elon Musk's SpaceX company in conjunction with NASA last month.

Of the nine women named, one will become the first woman to step foot on the moon.

Outgoing NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said this was the "first cadre" of the Artemis astronauts but "there's going to be more".

NASA hopes to establish a "sustainable" lunar exploration program, including the potential construction of a lunar base that could be used as a stopover point for interplanetary travel.

Originally published as First woman on moon named

NASA astronauts that will take part in the Artemis mission.
NASA astronauts that will take part in the Artemis mission.