Exploration

Jeremy Hansen will be the first Canadian to orbit the moon

The Canadian Space Agency astronaut will be part of a team of four astronauts who will be embarking on the Artemis II mission.

  • Published Apr 03, 2023
  • Updated Apr 04
  • 462 words
  • 2 minutes
A white man in blue Canadian Space Agency overalls smiles and gestured towards a piece of space-looking machinery against a blue background
Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen will orbit the moon. Here, he speaks with media representatives and CSA employees at the Johnson Space Center in Houston in 2018. (Photo: Canadian Space Agency)
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It’s official! Canadian astronaut and Royal Canadian Geographic Society Fellow Jeremy Hansen is going to the Moon!

NASA and the Canadian Space Agency today announced the four astronauts selected to venture around the Moon on Artemis II, the first crewed mission on NASA’s path to establishing a long-term presence at the Moon for science and exploration through Artemis. Hansen joins NASA astronauts Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover and Christina Hammock Koch on the mission.

As one of two mission specialists, he will work with the team to execute an ambitious set of demonstrations during the approximately 10-day Artemis II flight test that will pave the way for long-term human exploration missions to the Moon, and eventually Mars.

“There are two reasons a Canadian is going to the moon,” said Hansen to the crowd assembled at Ellington Field near NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “The first one is American leadership. It is not lost on any of us that the United States could choose to go back to the moon by themselves, but America has made a very deliberate choice over decades to choose to curate a global team and that is true leadership.” He went on emphasize that all of Canada was grateful for the Americans’ global mindset that has allowed Canadians to contribute their very best to a shared mission.

Hansen also used his time in the spotlight to congratulate his thousands of fellow Canadians — scientists, engineers, the Canadian Space Agency, and the Canadian Armed Forces — who have worked for decades in the space program, sharing their expertise in this very special partnership on space exploration. “All of this, step by step, has added up to this moment where a Canadian is going to the moon with an international partnership and it is glorious,” he said to thunderous applause.

“I am left in awe of being reminded what strong leadership, setting big goals, with a passion to collaborate and a can-do attitude can achieve,” he concluded. “We are going to the moon together. Let’s go!”

A white man with short brown hair, wearing blue Canadian Space Agency overalls peers at geographic artifacts in a wood-panelled room. One of the artifacts is a bright red telephone.
Astronaut Jeremy Hansen visits the Royal Canadian Geographical Society headquarters in 2020 to give a talk to Canadian Geographic Education students. Hansen is a Fellow of the Society. (Photo: Javier Frutos/Can Geo)
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Four people in orange space suits post for the camera against a dark background.
The four astronauts who will be the next humans to orbit the moon, from left: Christina Koch, Victor Glover, Reid Wiseman, and Jeremy Hansen. (Photo: NASA/Josh Valcarcel)
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This is Hansen’s first flight to space. A colonel in the Canadian Armed Forces and former fighter pilot, he holds a Bachelor of Science in space science from Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ont., and a Master of Science in physics from the same institution in 2000, with a research focus on wide field of view satellite tracking.

He was one of two recruits selected by CSA in May 2009 through the third Canadian Astronaut Recruitment Campaign and has served as Capcom in NASA’s Mission Control Center at Johnson and, in 2017, became the first Canadian to be entrusted with leading a NASA astronaut class, leading the training of astronaut candidates from the United States and Canada.

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