Astronaut from North Carolina going to the moon

CHARLOTTE — An astronaut from North Carolina is going to the moon.

NASA announced the members of the Artemis II team on Monday, and Christina Koch is one of the mission specialists who will take part in the first trip back to the moon in over 50 years.

Artemis II is tentatively set to launch a crew of four astronauts in November 2024. The Orion spacecraft will go up, and perform a flyby of the moon before returning back to Earth. This comes after NASA’s first Artemis mission, which successfully tested the Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft with a lunar orbit in 2022.

Koch grew up in Jacksonville, North Carolina, and ended up going to high school in Durham. She then went on to earn degrees in electrical engineering and physics, along with a master of science degree, all from North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

This is Koch’s second spaceflight, according to NASA. She was also part of a historic all-female spacewalk.

Back in 2020, Channel 9 spoke with Koch while she was aboard the International Space Station. Her research at the time was also part of future missions to the moon and to Mars.

Koch will be joined by pilot Victor Glover, commander Reid Wiseman, and mission specialist Jeremy Hansen. The crew will be performing checks on the spacecraft’s life support systems and propulsion, along with testing optical communications on board the Orion craft.

This will be the first trip back to the moon since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.

(WATCH: Channel 9 speaks with record-breaking NC astronaut as she prepares to return to Earth)

Andrew McMillan, wsoctv.com

Andrew McMillan is the Digital Content Manager for WSOC-TV.