NASA struggled to round up astronauts for Artemis II moon mission meeting: Report

NASA Moon Astronauts
Astronaut Reid Wiseman, center, walks past other astronaut candidates to the stage after he is announced as the mission commander during a NASA ceremony naming the four astronauts who will fly around the moon by the end of next year on the Artemis II mission, at a ceremony held in the NASA hangar at Ellington airport Monday, April 3, 2023, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)

NASA struggled to round up astronauts for Artemis II moon mission meeting: Report

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NASA astronauts assigned to the Artemis II mission underestimated the significance of the meeting that named them part of the mission, with two showing up late and another even planning to skip the meeting.

NASA, along with the Canadian Space Agency, announced on Monday that NASA astronauts Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover, and Christina Hammock Koch and CSA astronaut Jeremy Hansen are the four people selected for the mission that is set to be the first manned mission around the moon in more than 50 years.

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Koch and Glover were reportedly late to the meeting.

Koch assumed it would be virtual. After realizing there was no video link, she was told by her boss: “Nope. You’re going to want to be in person for this one.”

“I was late. Very late,” she said of her last-minute drive across town to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. “I realized when I got to the room that it was a bigger meeting than I realized.”

Glover arrived late to the meeting after finishing lunch with members of his staff.

Wiseman hadn’t planned on attending the meeting after seeing that the meeting was listed as an update on a troubled Russian spacecraft. He was at a doctor’s appointment.

“I don’t think I’m going to make it,” Wiseman said he texted to his boss and chief astronaut Joe Acaba.

“It’s not about what you think it is,” Acaba replied. “You have to get here.”

Wiseman began to dial in for a remote call but hung up when his doctor came into the room.

After his appointment nearly 40 minutes later, Wiseman asked if he could still call in. He did and learned he was named to the crew as he left his doctor’s office.

In February, Acaba was named NASA’s chief astronaut. Glover remembered Acaba stressing the importance of punctuality, among other priorities, as he assumed the new role.

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“And one of the things he talked about was punctuality, being on time,” Glover said, noting the irony of the situation. “One way or another, all of us were late.”

NASA said the Artemis II mission will fly around the moon by the end of 2024.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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