A former farm kid from southwest Ontario has been chosen to become the first Canadian astronaut to orbit the moon.
NASA and the Canadian Space Agency unveiled the crew for the Artemis II lunar mission — the first human trip to the moon’s orbit since the last Apollo mission in 1972 — at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas on Monday.
The Canadian representative on the crew will be Jeremy Hansen, who grew up on a farm near Ailsa Craig, northwest of London.
“As an astronaut who grew up on a farm in southern Ontario, the link between space and agriculture really interests me,” he wrote, in a Facebook post in 2021 (see below).
Hansen is slated to be the first non-American to travel to deep space, with the Artemis II mission scheduled for November 2024. The crew will not land on the moon, but will orbit for 10 days in the Orion spacecraft, performing tests in preparation for a mission that would put humans back on the moon in 2025.
The Canadian Space Agency earned the seat on the Artemis II mission due to the Canadian government’s contribution of Canadarm3 to the Lunar Gateway, a space station that is supposed to orbit the moon.