Nasa unveils astronauts who will walk on the MOON in 2024 – including ISS veteran with hundreds of days in space

NASA has announced its first team of astronauts that will be heading for the Moon.

This list includes the name of the woman who could be the first ever female to stand on the lunar surface.

The list was announced at the National Space Counsel Meeting taking place this week at the Kennedy Space Center in the US.

It was chaired by US vice president Mike Pence.

The 18 astronauts mentioned will be part of Nasa's Artemis program.

This mission that aims to send a man and woman to the Moon as early as 2024.

The 18 astronauts set for the Moon

Here’s the names of all the astronauts on Nasa’s Artemis program…

Joe Acaba 
Kayla Barron 
Raja Chari 
Matthew Dominick 
Victor Glover 
Woody Hoburg 
Jonny Kim 
Christina Koch 
Kjell Lindgren 
Nicole Mann 
Anne McClain 
Jessica Meir 
Jasmin Moghbeli 
Kate Rubins
Frank Rubio 
Scott Tingle 
Jessica Watkins 
Stephanie Wilson 

Female astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir are on the team.

They're well known for creating history last year when they completed the first all female spacewalk.

They've both spent hundreds of days in space already along with a few other astronauts that made the team.

It isn't yet known which woman will be picked to be the first to stand on the Moon alongside another man.

Everyone on the list is being referred to as the “first generation” of Nasa's Artemis program.

That means there should be more to come.

Lots of the astronauts have already spent time aboard the International Space Station.

This includes Koch, Meir and Victor Glover who is currently on the ISS.

He was part of SpaceX's mission to get there this year.

However, almost half of the astronauts on the list have not been to space yet.

Pence said: "It really is amazing to think that the first woman and the next man on the moon are among the names we just read, and may be standing in the room right now.

"This is the first cadre of Artemis astronauts."

He added: "Let me clear there’s gonna be more."

Nasa Administrator Jim Bridenstine said: "Our goal is to go to the moon sustainably, to learn how to live and work on another world."

The 18 Moon walking candidates were selected from Nasa's 47 active astronauts.

Artemis 1 is the name of the first mission of the Artemis program.

It will be unmanned and aims to send an empty capsule to the Moon in 2021.

Artemis 2 is supposed to happen in 2023 and will involve a crewed lunar flyby with a return to Earth.

Humans landing on the Moon will be the Artemis 3 mission and is currently set for October 2024.

All these dates could potentially change.

In other space news, Jupiter and Saturn will come so close together this month they'll form a rare "double planet" phenomenon for the first time in 800 years.

Human cremated ashes are to be sent to the Moon next year as part of a commercial burial service piggybacking on a Nasa lunar mission.

And, wars could be settled in space in the future, a top RAF chief has warned.

Would you like to go to the Moon? Let us know in the comments…

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