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WASHINGTON U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), ranking member and chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies, welcomed the Artemis II astronauts, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson and Canadian Space Agency President Lisa Campbell to Capitol Hill and spoke on the importance of the Artemis missions.

CSA astronaut Jeremy Hansen; Sen. Moran; NASA astronaut Christina Hammock Koch; CSA President Lisa Campbell; NASA Astronaut Reid Wiseman and NASA astronaut Victor Glover; Sen. Shaheen, and NASA Administrator Bill Nelson

Sen. Moran speaks with Wiseman

“The Artemis II crew represents the next step in cementing America’s leadership in space exploration, while inspiring the next generation of astronauts, engineers, and scientists,” said Sen. Moran. “This week, Sen. Shaheen and I had the honor of welcoming the crew, the NASA Administrator and leadership from the Canadian Space Agency to the United States Senate. The Artemis missions will further scientific discovery, create new economic benefits and deepen our alliances across the globe.”

“As the Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee that funds NASA, it is an honor to host the Artemis II astronauts this week,” said Sen. Shaheen. “I believe that setting and achieving ambitious targets as we return to the Moon and prepare to send humans to Mars is critical. We cannot take our continued U.S. leadership in space for granted when our global competitors, including China, are investing heavily in scientific and technological innovation. Ranking Member Moran and I have, on a bipartisan basis, fought to ensure that NASA has the resources to keep the Artemis missions on track. These missions demonstrate continued American leadership in the final frontier and inspire the next generation of STEM leaders to look up and dream big.”

Artemis II will be the first crewed flight test of the Orion spacecraft launching on the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. The mission is currently scheduled for no earlier than November 2024. Artemis II will be a 10-day mission that will orbit the Moon, confirming all the spacecraft’s systems operate as designed with crew aboard in the actual environment of deep space in order to pave the way for future lunar surface missions, including Artemis III in late 2025.

As Ranking Member of the powerful Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, Sen. Moran crafts legislation that delivers resources to key federal programs and agencies, including NASA. In this role, Sen. Moran works to provide support for NASA’s Artemis program and prioritize STEM education to ensure a ready generation to carry on our nation’s space goals.

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