North Carolina astronaut Christina Koch could become first woman on the moon

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Jacksonville native and North Carolina State graduate Christina Koch has a chance to become the first woman to walk on the moon.

On Wednesday, NASA named 18 astronauts to train for its Artemis moon-landing program. The program is aiming for a moon landing by 2024, where they hope to establish a “sustainable human lunar presence.”

The 18 astronauts selected are among the most diverse groups NASA has ever put together: nine men — including four with space flight experience — and nine women, including five space veterans. Nine of the 18 have not yet flown in space.

This trip would be the first time humans have landed on the moon since 1972.

Koch, 41, grew up in Jacksonville. She graduated from NC State with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Physics and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering, according to her NASA biography.

Back in February, Koch set a record for the “longest single spaceflight by a woman.” She was in space for a total of 328 days. She completed the “first all-woman spacewalk” with fellow astronaut Jessica Meir on that trip. Meir is also one of the 18 astronauts selected for the Artemis moon-landing program.

The Artemis Program astronauts are:

  • Joe Acaba, 53 (3 previous flights; 3 spacewalks)
  • Kayla Barron, 33 (rookie)
  • Raja Chari, 43 (rookie)
  • Matthew Dominick, 39 (rookie)
  • Victor Glover, 44 (1 flight)
  • Woody Hoburg, 35 (rookie)
  • Jonny Kim, 36 (rookie)
  • Christina Koch, 41 (1 flight; 6 spacewalks)
  • Kjell Lindgren, 47 (1 flight; 2 spacewalks)
  • Nicole Mann, 43 (rookie)
  • Anne McClain, 41 (1 flight; 2 spacewalks)
  • Jessica Meir, 43 (1 flight; 3 spacewalks)
  • Jasmin Moghbeli, 37 (rookie)
  • Kate Rubins, 42 (2 flights (2 spacewalks)
  • Frank Rubio, 43 (rookie)
  • Scott Tingle, 55 (1 flight; 1 spacewalk)
  • Jessica Watkins, 32 (rookie)
  • Stephanie Wilson, 54 (3 flights)

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