CMF Profiles

Col. Jeremy Hansen On His Way to the Moon

Col. Jeremy Hansen, a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force, will become the first Canadian to fly to the moon as part of the crew of Artemis II.

Hansen, and the other three crew members, will be on the first mission to the moon since the final Apollo mission in 1972.

NASA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) made the highly anticipated announcement of the crew members manning this historic flight on Monday. The other crew members are American astronauts: Christina Hammock Koch, Victor Glover and G. Reid Wiseman.

ASA astronauts Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover, and Christina Hammock Koch, and CSA astronaut Jeremy Hansen were announced Monday, April 3 as the four astronauts who will venture around the Moon on Artemis II, the first crewed mission on NASA’s path to establishing a long-term presence at the Moon for science and exploration through Artemis. The crew assignments are as follows: Commander Reid Wiseman, Pilot Victor Glover, Mission Specialist 1 Christina Koch, Mission Specialist 2 Jeremy Hansen. Photo by: NASA/James Blair.

Artemis II is expected to launch into space next year. Col. Hansen’s selection for this crew will make Canada the second country ever to send an astronaut to the moon.

“We are going back to the Moon, and Canada is at the centre of this exciting journey. Thanks to our reputation as a trusted partner and our longstanding collaboration with NASA, a Canadian astronaut will fly on this historic mission. On behalf of all Canadians, I want to congratulate Jeremy for being at the forefront of one of the most ambitious human endeavours ever undertaken. Canada’s participation in the Artemis program will spur the creation of thousands of highly skilled jobs, boost innovation and be a source of national pride for years to come,” said François-Philippe Champagne, minister of innovation, science and industry.

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister responsible for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), today announced that Jeremy Hansen will be the first CSA astronaut to fly around the Moon as part of NASA’s Artemis II mission. Photo by and courtesy of Canadian Space Agency, NASA.

Artemis II: A Historic Mission

According to NASA, Artemis II is the first crewed mission on NASA’s journey to establish a long-term presence at the Moon for research and exploration purposes.

The mission is not only the first one for a Canadian but also the first time a woman and a person of colour will travel to the moon.

2011-05-08 – CSA astronauts Jeremy Hansen and Chris Hadfield pose in front of the world’s biggest pool, NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory in Houston, Texas. Photo by and courtesy of NASA.

“The Artemis II crew represents thousands of people working tirelessly to bring us to the stars. This is their crew, this is our crew, this is humanity’s crew,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “NASA astronauts Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover, and Christina Hammock Koch, and CSA astronaut Jeremy Hansen, each has their own story, but, together, they represent our creed: E pluribus unum – out of many, one. Together, we are ushering in a new era of exploration for a new generation of star sailors and dreamers – the Artemis Generation.”

The focus on the moon comes from a desire to access a “treasure trove” of information about the solar system by studying the moon. Successful missions to the moon are also the first step to sending astronauts to Mars.

26 MAY 2009 RAMP, 409 SQUADRON (SQN), 4 WING COLD LAKE, ALBERTA, CANADA. New Canadian astronauts Captain (Capt) Jeremy Hansen and Doctor (Dr.) David Saint-Jacques preparing for Dr. Saint-Jacques first flight in a F-18 Hornet jet. Taken for Canadian Space Agency (CSA) public relations project. Photos by Private Pte Laura Brophy. Courtesy of Canadian Space Agency.

Distinguished Years of Service

Jeremy Hansen, who will serve as Mission Specialist 2 aboard the Orion, is originally from London, ON. Before joining the Canadian Space Agency in 2009, Col. Hansen served as a CF-18 pilot in the RCAF. He began his journey in the RCAF at the age of 12 when he joined the 614 Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron in London, Ontario.

After graduating from the Royal Military College of Canada, he completed pilot training. He served as a CF-18 fighter pilot with 441 Tactical Fighter Squadron and 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron, as well as the Combat Operations Officer at 4 Wing Operations.

2010-09-10 – “Class photo” of David Saint-Jacques and Jeremy Hansen, along with other astronaut candidates recruited by NASA and JAXA in 2009, in a parabolic aircraft. Image by and courtesy of NASA.

After joining the CSA in 2009, he continued on his distinguished path and, in 2017, became the first Canadian to lead a NASA astronaut class.

His fascination with space began during his time at college, and being part of the Artemis II mission is a culmination of years of hard work, perseverance and a love affair with the sky and beyond.

“Being part of the Artemis II crew is both exciting and humbling. I’m excited to leverage my experience, training, and knowledge to take on this challenging mission on behalf of Canada. I’m humbled by the incredible contributions and hard work of so many Canadians that have made this opportunity a reality. I am proud and honoured to represent my country on this historic mission,” said Hansen.

Former CSA astronauts Marc Garneau, Steve MacLean, Chris Hadfield, Robert Thirsk, Bjarni Tryggvason and Dave Williams, as well as active astronauts Jeremy Hansen, Joshua Kutryk and Jenni Sidey-Gibbons, answered questions on the future of space exploration. Photo courtesy of Canadian Space Agency.

Canada’s Contributions to Space

Canada has been contributing to space exploration since the early 1980s. Over the years, nine astronauts have flown to space 17 times.

To further Canada’s contributions to outer space, in 2019, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced investments in Canada’s space program and Canada’s commitment to lunar exploration. As a result, Canada has contributed Canadarm3 to the Lunar Gateway. Thanks to this contribution, Canada will have ample opportunities for lunar science, technology demonstration and commercial activities.

Budget 2023 announced an investment of $1.43 billion to assist missions related to lunar exploration.

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Mishall Rehman

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Mishall is a freelance journalist pursuing her passion for writing in her new homeland Canada. She currently lives in Trenton, ON with her husband.

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