I was looking at NASA’s website and noticed that their latest graduating class of astronauts was just announced. This is exciting because these new astronauts are part of the Artemis space program scheduled to return mankind to the moon, and perhaps, someday, Mars! The anticipation for this special mission is growing, and all the different space agencies are coming together to make this happen.
The resumes of this graduating class are impressive and includes eleven astronauts from the United States and two from Canada. Three of the graduates served in the U.S. Navy, two in the Air Force, one in the Army, and another was a Marine. Their expertise includes various degrees in engineering, geology, biology, medicine, marine science and mathematics. Six are pilots with experience ranging from strike fighter squadrons, test pilots, rescue pilots, commercial flight, and even a Blackhawk helicopter pilot. One has submarine warfare experience, another served in Navy SEAL operations, one was deployed in Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, and one served on board the USS Ronald Reagan. Dr. Jonny Kim, who has completed over 100 combat missions, earned both a Silver Star and Bronze star for his efforts.
On a more personal level, two of them- Bob Hines and Warren Hoburg- are from my home state of Pennsylvania, and I find it cool that Hines is a local guy from Harrisburg, right next door to me. I’m looking forward to following both their careers and accomplishments.
Senator Ted Cruz attended the event and said,
“I congratulate these exceptional men and women on being the first graduating class of the Artemis program. They are the pioneers of the final frontier whose work will help fortify America’s leadership in space for generations to come. I am excited for the opportunities ahead of them, including landing the first woman ever on the surface of the Moon, and having the first boots to step on Mars.”
The goal for the Artemis mission is to land on the moon by 2024, explore the lunar surface, and then reach Mars around 2035.