Who wants to go to the moon? Europe names astronaut candidates

Optimists on the Moon (from left): Germany's Alexander Gerst, France's Thomas Pesquet, Italy's Luca Parmitano, Germany's Matte.

Hikers on the Moon (from left): Germany’s Alexander Gerst, France’s Thomas Pesquet, Italy’s Luca Parmitano, Germany’s Matthias Maurer.

The European Space Agency announced that a team of seven astronauts will train on Wednesday for NASA’s Artemis mission to the moon – but only one will have the chance to become the first European to walk on the moon.

The nominees – France’s Thomas Bisquet, Britain’s Tim Peake, Germany’s Alexander Gerst and Matthias Maurer, Italy’s Luca Parmitano and Samantha Cristoforetti, and Denmark’s Andreas Mogensen – have completed at least one mission aboard the International Space Station.

The team has the equivalent of 4.5 years in orbit and 98 hours of spacewalking, Philip Willikens, head of communications at the European Space Agency, told reporters at the International Astronautical Congress in Paris.

Three of the astronauts will be chosen to go to the Lunar Gateway, a planned lunar orbit station.

But only one will set foot on the moon by the end of the decade. At some point, the ESA will have to decide which of the seven candidates will go.

“all of us candidates “What matters is to go there as a team,” Bisquet told reporters at the event in Paris.

“Look, we all wear the same shirt,” he added. Pesquet, Gerst, Maurer and Parmitano attended, wearing a navy blue polo shirt with the ESA and Artemis logos.

Cristoforetti had to make a video call from space, currently working aboard the International Space Station after becoming the first European woman to embark on a spacewalk outside the station in July.

Mogensen also spoke via video as he prepares for his private tour aboard the International Space Station.

Something inspiring for Europe

The launch of the first Artemis mission, which is unmanned and intended to test a new missile system and Orion capsule, has been delayed several times due to a technical glitch including a fuel leak. NASA is now targeting a September 27 launch.

The next mission, Artemis 2, will take astronauts to the moon without landing on its surface, while the third mission — which aims to launch in 2025 — will see the first person set foot on the moon’s surface since 1972.

ESA provides the European Service Module on the Orion capsule.

“During this decade, three Issa astronauts The plane will fly to the Moon Gate – our permanent station that we are building around the moon, David Parker, director of human and robotic exploration at the European Space Agency, told AFP.

“And if all goes well, we will be ready by the end of this decade to send the first European astronaut to the moon,” he added.

Putting a European on the Moon would be “something inspiring for Europe, and a powerful signal to say ‘we are here, and we are taking our place in the space world in a collaborative way’,” Bisquet said.

‘with a european on the moonI hope that united Europe will become the reality it is today.”

Despite deep divisions between Russia and the West over Moscow’s war in Ukraine, an American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts on Wednesday blasted off to the International Space Station aboard a Russian-operated flight.

NASA’s Moon Mission Has Fallen Again

© 2022 AFP

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