NASA has announced plans to land the first person of the color on the moon. The goal is part of the agency’s Artemis program, which will send astronauts on the moon for the first time since 1972’s Apollo 17 mission.
The news comes shortly after President Joe Biden requested to set aside increased funds for NASA as part of the government’s 2022 discretionary spending. ”The president’s discretionary request increases NASA’s ability to better understand Earth and further monitor and predict the impacts of climate change,” NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk told CNN. “It also gives us the necessary resources to continue advancing America’s bipartisan Moon to Mars space exploration plan, including landing the first woman and first person of color on the Moon under the Artemis program.”
The Artemis program will send two NASA crew members to the moon in 2024. Though it’s unclear if those two crew members will include a person of color, NASA Chief of Staff Bhavya Lal said that African American, Asian Pacific Islander, Hispanic and multiracial astronauts comprise about 25 percent of the agency’s “active astronaut corps.” Lal also revealed that the 2024 Artemis moon landing is is part of a long-term plan to “help us prepare to get to Mars.”