NC State graduate part of NASA’s first mission to moon in 50 years

The crew of NASA’s Artemis II mission (left to right): NASA astronauts Christina Hammock Koch,...
The crew of NASA’s Artemis II mission (left to right): NASA astronauts Christina Hammock Koch, Reid Wiseman (seated), Victor Glover, and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen.(NASA)
Published: Apr. 3, 2023 at 12:58 PM EDT
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HOUSTON, TX (WBTV) - North Carolina State University graduate Christina Koch is headed to the moon with NASA’s first lunar mission in 50 years. Koch grew up in Jacksonville, NC, and attended NC State in Raleigh where she graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering and Physics.

“Her career began as an Electrical Engineer at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) where she contributed to scientific instruments on several NASA space science missions,” according to NASA.

This isn’t Koch’s first time in space as she previously spent time on the International Space Station.

Related: N.C. astronaut Christina Koch has a chance to be first woman to walk on the moon

“She was selected in 2013 as one of eight members of the 21st NASA astronaut class and completed Astronaut Candidate training in 2015. In 2018, she was assigned to her first space flight, a long duration mission on the ISS,” according to NASA.

That mission lasted nearly one year.

“Koch launched on March 14, 2019 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on the Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft with Roscosmos Cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and NASA Astronaut Nick Hague. She returned to Earth on February 6, 2020 on the MS-13 Soyuz spacecraft with Roscosmos Cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov and European Space Agency (ESA) Astronaut Luca Parmitano,” according to NASA. “Serving as a Flight Engineer on the ISS for Expeditions 59, 60 and 61, she and her crewmates contributed to hundreds of experiments in biology, Earth science, human research, physical science and technology development.”

On Monday NASA announced the crew for Artemis II which includes three men and one woman, Koch.

“The three Americans and one Canadian will be the first to fly NASA’s Orion capsule, launching atop a Space Launch System rocket from Kennedy Space Center no earlier than late 2024. They will not land or even go into lunar orbit, but rather fly around the moon and head straight back to Earth, a prelude to a lunar landing by two others a year later,” according to the AP.

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