NASA has recently announced 18 new astronauts who will travel to the Moon under the Artemis program. Artemis Program is NASA’s lunar exploration program that will use latest technology to study the Moon and prepare for future human missions to Mars. The chosen astronauts are both those who have already traveled to the ISS and new recruits who have never been in space yet. This group includes the next man and the first woman to walk on the surface of the Moon in 2024.

At his last meeting of the National Space Council in Florida, Mike Pence, an American politician serving as vice president of the United States, announced the cadre of nine women and men – the Artemis team – to be considered for setting foot on the Moon in the future.

"My fellow Americans, I give you the heroes of the future who will carry us back to the Moon and beyond," he said.

No flight assignments have been made yet, so it is unclear who exactly will become the first woman on the Moon. Besides, the list can possibly change as NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said: “This is the first cadre of our Artemis astronauts. I want to be clear, there’s going to be more.”

The US Space Agency will send a man and woman to the Moon in 2024, and there will be further flights with astronauts traveling in an Orion spacecraft, launched by a Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. Thus, NASA wants to establish a sustainable program for Moon exploration, including the creation of a lunar base.

Here’s the full list of the astronauts announced at the event:

  1. Joseph Acaba
  2. Kayla Barron
  3. Raja Chari
  4. Matthew Dominick
  5. Victor Glover
  6. Warren Hoburg
  7. Jonny Kim
  8. Christina Koch
  9. Kjell Lindgren
  10. Nicole A Mann
  11. Anne McClain
  12. Jessica Meir
  13. Jasmin Moghbeli
  14. Kate Rubins
  15. Frank Rubio
  16. Scott Tingle
  17. Jessica Watkins
  18. Stephanie Wilson

Nine of the listed astronauts have already flown into space. Eight of them are members of the most recent astronaut class. Nicole A Mann was selected in 2013, but has not been on a mission yet.