According to Ars Technica, Vice President Mike Pence will be announcing a group of 18 astronauts who will be considered for NASA’s Artemis Program. Some of which could even be lucky enough to set foot on the moon.

Pence is supposedly going to announce the astronaut’s names on Wednesday, December 9. From this pool of names, NASA will select the pilots, mission specialists, and commanders that will become part of the Artemis Program.

There are currently 47 NASA astronauts within the Houston-based Astronaut Office who could be named Wednesday. Of these 47 astronauts, 16 are women, meaning that the odds of at least one woman being selected are high. This could result in one of these women making history by becoming the first woman to walk on the moon.

The announcement was previously planned to occur earlier this year, but unfortunately, COVID-19 interrupted those plans. Doing it earlier in the year would have generated public excitement around the Artemis Program.

A diagram showing the different stages of Artemis II

Artemis II is set to happen in 2023 and will be the first crewed mission to the moon. During the mission, four astronauts will travel around the moon to test Orion’s life-support systems. Artemis III will take place sometime in 2026 or later, depending on many factors, including the incoming Biden administration.

Pence will be making the announcement at 12:30 pm ET via NASA TV. Some of the selected astronauts are scheduled to be present during the announcement as well.

Via Ars Technica

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