Nasa Astronaut Christina Koch returned to Earth only recently, after her record-breaking stay on the Earth’s orbit for 11 months. Now, she is all ready to be a part of Nasa’s upcoming lunar mission.
Nasa aims to send two astronauts to the surface of the moon by 2024, of which at least one will be a woman. Nasa is yet to select the crew, but Koch says she is ready to take on the mission if called upon.
“Of course, me or anyone in our [astronaut] office would be honoured beyond measure to be a part of that mission,” Koch said during a news conference on Wednesday. “Any of us would be ready and honoured to accept that mission if it were offered to us.”
Koch had reached Earth last Thursday after finishing a 328-day mission aboard the International Space Station and has become the first woman to do so. Nasa uses these long-duration missions to plan and prepare for its upcoming deep space missions.
Nasa’s ambitions don’t just stop at Moon, by 2030’s it plans to put a human being on Mars. The 2024 Lunar landing will be a stepping stone to its Mars plan. Nasa’s plans for Moon, collectively called as the Artemis program aims to establish a sustainable human presence on and around the moon. The agency wishes to use Moon as a base for all future deep space missions.
“It is certainly a very exciting time to be part of the NASA family, when we are looking to go back to the moon, to go in a different way — to go to stay, to go for all and by all,” Koch said. “So, it’s a privilege to be here at this time.”