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NASA to start training Artemis II crew for Moon mission in June

Washington, May 19 (IANS) Even as NASA prepares to establish a long-term presence at the Moon for science and exploration after a span of 50 years, the agency is looking to start training the astronauts who will fly on Artemis II flight in June.

NASA astronauts Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover, Christina Hammock Koch, and CSA (Canadian Space Agency) astronaut Jeremy Hansen will complete their training over the course of about 18-months before their 10-day mission.

They will receive detailed lessons on Orion spacecraft and SLS (Space Launch System) rocket systems, and learn to operate and monitor systems for the ascent, orbit and coast, and entry phases of the mission, and how to respond in emergency situations.

“The crew of our Artemis II test flight will pave the way for the incredible science at the forefront of all of our future crewed missions,” said NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy, in a statement.

“Their flight test expertise and personal bravery as they journey to the Moon will enable the next big step in our Moon to Mars strategy,” she added.

During the first phase of training, the crew will learn about key systems to establish a foundation for the rest of their training.

Experts from NASA’s Flight Operations Directorate at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston will train them on daily operations in space and mission phases, and the crew will begin practising how to operate Orion’s crew displays, vehicle controls, and audio and imagery systems.

NASA teams are developing robust plans to simulate every aspect of the mission, including the countdown, in-flight operations, entry, and recovery, to practise procedures.

While some rehearsals will involve crew and others take place among systems operators, the agency will conduct a host of integrated simulations with the crew, launch, and flight control teams in the months before the mission.

“We’re building a robust training plan for the crew to ensure they’re ready for every aspect of this first mission to the Moon under Artemis on our newest spacecraft and rocket,” said Jacki Mahaffey, lead training officer for the Artemis II crew.

Throughout their training flow, the crew also will refine their understanding of water survival and emergency exit operations, practise medical and exercise device use, and learn how to use Orion’s other day-to-day life support systems including for food preparation.