Feb 28, 2024 - News

San Diego's moon mission connection

A Navy recovery team will pick up NASA astronauts after their flight capsule lands in the ocean south of San Diego

A U.S. Navy recovery team rehearses with NASA in San Diego Bay ahead of the Artemis II lunar mission. Photo: Olivia Rucker/U.S. Navy

San Diego has a small but essential role in NASA's next mission to the moon: picking up the astronauts in the Pacific Ocean after they've parachuted down from space.

Why it matters: The Artemis II crew is set to be the first in more than 50 years to fly around the moon in what's considered a test flight for the later Artemis III mission — when the first woman and person of color are set to land on the moon.

After a 10-day spaceflight, a Navy recovery team will pick up Artemis II astronauts Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover, Christina Koch and Jeremy Hansen when their flight capsule lands in the ocean south of San Diego.

Driving the news: The crew will show off the new test version of NASA's Orion spacecraft that will carry astronauts from Earth to lunar orbit and back during a press conference at Naval Base San Diego Wednesday.

What's next: Artemis II was scheduled to take off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida later this year, but it's been pushed to 2025 due to technical problems, the Union-Tribune reported.

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