Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

A first Canadian towards Moon: one year before Artemis II

Jeremy Hansen stands in front of the Orion capsule that will take it into orbit around the Moon.

  • Gabriel Garon (View profile)Gabriel Garon

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The countdown is on. One year from now, in November 2024, Jeremy Hansen will become the first Canadian to go into deep space: in orbit around the Moon. The astronauts of the Artemis II mission, a program led by NASA, are training in preparation for this historic mission.

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The Artemis II mission team is made up of three American astronauts and one Canadian astronaut.

Three American astronauts, Christina Koch, Gregory Reid Wiseman and Victor J. Glover, will be aboard the Orion capsule. Artemis II’s fourth passenger and mission specialist will be Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen.

This is a first space mission for the 47-year-old Ontarian, but also a great first for the Canadian Space Agency. While many Canadian astronauts have flown aboard space shuttles and stayed on the International Space Station (ISS), this is in fact the first time that a Canadian will travel this far into space, aboard a lunar mission.

To be the 2nd country in the world to send an astronaut into space far away, that's something [of which we can] be proud.

A quote from Jeremy Hansen, astronaut

However, it is no coincidence to see Canada receive such a unique invitation from NASA, a major partner of the CSA for decades. From the contribution of Canadian astronauts to the engineers who designed the two Canadian arms, essential to the space shuttle missions and the construction of the ISS, the American agency has always been able to count on Canadian know-how to assert itself facing its adversaries in the conquest of space.

Astronaut Jeremy Hansen preparing for the Artemis II mission. BROADCAST HERE FIRST. In the mosaic.

Astronaut Jeremy Hansen preparing for the Artemis II mission


Listen to the audio (Astronaut Jeremy Hansen preparing for the Artemis II mission. 16 minutes 30 seconds)

Canada's role is considered to be exceptional. We are the world experts in space robotics, there is no one who builds robots that work in space like Canada, explains Charles Tisseyre, host of Découverte.

Jeremy Hansen proudly wears the Canadian flag on his uniform during his training at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. For now, the astronauts are focusing on testing the different flight simulators in order to test everything before the mission.

This is the first time we have humans on this rocket and in the Orion capsule so we are going to do a lot of tests, adds mission specialist Jeremy Hansen. The Canadian astronaut therefore reminds us that the Artemis II mission is only a first step towards reconquering the Moon.

Artemis II is just the next step. Artemis III, IV, V: We're going to do extraordinary things.

A quote from astronaut Jeremy Hansen

Mathieu Caron, director of astronauts at the CSA, recalls that Artemis II will lay the foundations for future missions.

C&#x27 It's a new program, it's a new rocket, it's a new capsule. So, the training is in development. Jeremy not only runs the training, but ultimately contributes to what the training is going to be for Artemis II and the next missions to the Moon, explains Mathieu Caron.

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The SLS rocket will propel the Artemis II team to the Moon in November 2024.

After a first uncrewed test flight in 2022, the mission in which Jeremy Hansen will take part will be the first crewed test flight of the Artemis program. On the program's third mission, astronauts will set foot on the Moon for the first time since the end of the Apollo program in 1972.

NASA then wants to establish a lasting presence around the moon thanks to the Gateway lunar space station, inspired by the International Space Station. Ultimately, the goal of the Artemis missions is to pave the way for manned exploration of Mars.

​​The Moon is a fantastic training and testing ground for preparing to go to the planet Mars. – Charles Tisseyre, host of Découverte

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As with several NASA programs, Canada once again plays an essential role in this new stage of space conquest. The Ontario company MDA will build a third Canadian arm, which will be installed on the Gateway lunar space station. The intelligent robotic arm, with a length of 8.5 meters, will be able to operate completely autonomously, without human intervention.

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The Canadian arm 3 which will be installed on the Gateway station is inspired by the one already installed on the international space station.< /p>

Another Ontario company, Canadensys Aerospace Corporation, is responsible for developing the first Canadian rover to explore the Moon. Thanks to industrial and academic partners across the country, the Canadian rover will contribute to the search for water ice, a key element of space exploration.

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Robotics is one of the areas of expertise of Canadians.

One year before the planned launch of the Artemis II mission, Jeremy Hansen is keeping his feet on the ground and making numerous appearances in schools and in the media to inform and inspire the next generations.

Her message also resonates with her own children: They understand that it's necessary to have big goals and they are proud to Canada, and that’s important to me, he adds.

Jeremy Hansen stands in front of the Orion capsule that will take him into orbit around the Moon.

Artemis II will take off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in November 2024, carrying four astronauts, including a Canadian, with their eyes fixed on the next stage of the conquest of space.

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