The upcoming Artemis 2 astronaut mission to the moon was represented at the historic coronation of King Charles III.
Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen led Canada’s national procession at the coronation held Saturday (May 6) in London, England. Hansen carried the country’s flag in front of Mary Simon, Governor-General of Canada, her husband Whit Fraser, Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada and wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau.
Hansen will be flying as mission specialist aboard Artemis 2, the upcoming 10-day mission to the moon expected to launch late next year. Artemis 2 will be the first spaceflight for the former Royal Canadian Air Force fighter pilot, who is set to become the first non-American to leave low Earth orbit on a moon mission.
Related: Jeremy Hansen: Artemis 2 Canadian astronaut will fly around the moon
Prior to the coronation, Hansen posted a statement (opens in new tab) to Twitter expressing his gratitude at being chosen for such a historic occasion. “It is an honour to have been asked to carry the Canadian Flag for the coronation of His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen Consort,” Hansen wrote in the tweet published May 4.
It is an honour to have been asked to carry the Canadian Flag for the coronation of His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen Consort. 🇨🇦https://t.co/vxQGNdqG43May 4, 2023
“I feel a great sense of pride for Canada,” Hansen told Space.com shortly after being named to the Artemis 2 moon crew. “It was so awesome to see NASA, the United States, showcasing Canada as part of this mission. It’s not as a gift, but because we bring real value.”
Other astronauts who weren’t at the coronation today chimed in on social media to share their unique perspective. During the ceremony, European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet took to Twitter to post an image of London (opens in new tab) as seen from the International Space Station in 2021. “Quite a few set of eyes will be turned towards London today: Here’s what the city looks like on a summer day (and night) from the space station,” Pesquet wrote.
Quite a few set of eyes will be turned towards London today : here’s what the city looks like on a summer day (and night) from the space station. #coronation / voici Londres de jour et de nuit : nul doute qu’elle brillera de mille feux aujourd’hui 🇬🇧 Pics ESA/NASA/T.Pesquet 2021 pic.twitter.com/i4AI4bH2VbMay 6, 2023
Artemis 2 is scheduled to lift off in November 2024, if all goes according to plan. The mission will see four astronauts, commander Reid Wiseman, pilot Victor Glover and mission specialists Christina Koch and Jeremy Hansen, fly once around the moon before returning to Earth.
The mission will serve as a test flight to verify operations and procedures of the Orion spacecraft before another crewed mission, Artemis 3, will follow and put human astronauts back on the surface of the moon no earlier than 2025.