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Moon mission could boost Canadian health-care, climate efforts: Artemis II astronauts

Mission planned for November 2024 is part of an ambitious plan to establish a long-term presence on the moon
Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen, centre, participates in interviews with fellow members of the Artemis II crew, NASA astronauts Victor Glover, left, Reid Wiseman, right, and Christina Hammock Koch, not shown, at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, Tuesday, April 25, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Four astronauts selected to orbit the moon say the Artemis II mission can help inform how Canada responds to food insecurity, health-care needs and climate adaptation in the Arctic.

And the head of NASA says that as crewmembers prepare to meet a new frontier in space, he expects Ottawa will boost its spending on the Canadian Space Agency, in line with its allies.

Jeremy Hansen, a Canadian colonel who will join three Americans in space, says the mission shows what working together can accomplish, and that spirit should guide humanity in its response to climate change.

The mission planned for November 2024 is part of an ambitious plan to establish a long-term presence on the moon, and involves sling-shotting into deep space for a figure-8 manoeuvre around the dark side of the moon.

If it is successful, the flight will mark the first time any human has ventured so far from Earth, and will set the stage for another mission planned for 2025 that will include driving a vehicle on the moon's surface and seeking materials that could be converted into fuel and building supplies.

The astronauts also say in an interview with The Canadian Press that they want to show the world the importance of diversity, with a mission that spans two nationalities and includes a woman and a Black man.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 25, 2023.

Dylan Robertson, The Canadian Press

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