Spaceflight Insider

Canadian Minister speaks in Houston ahead of Artemis 2 crew announcement

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry spoke with Spaceflight Insider at Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas, April 2, 2023. On April 3, Minister Champagne will announce the Canadian Space Agency astronaut who will join three NASA astronauts to form the Artemis 2 mission crew, currently scheduled to fly the first crewed mission around the moon in 50 years. Credit: Sean Costello / Spaceflight Insider

On the eve of the wildly anticipated Artemis 2 crew announcement, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, met with Canadian media at the Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas.

On Monday, April 3, 2023, Minister Champagne, on behalf of Canada and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) will join NASA representatives in revealing to the world who will be assigned to the four-person crew of Artemis 2, a mission planned to send humans beyond low Earth orbit for the first time in over fifty years. The crew roster is assured to include one Canadian, as a function of Canada’s investments in the international (NASA, European Space Agency (ESA), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and Canadian Space Agency) Lunar Gateway. Artemis 2 is currently slated to fly in late 2024, on the heels of the very successful Artemis 1 mission, which flew without crew aboard, in late 2022.

Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen, one of four Canadians under consideration for assignment to the Artemis 2 crew, watches as the Space Launch System (SLS) lifts off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on November 16, 2022, beginning what would prove to be a very successful Artemis 1 mission. Credit Sean Costello / Spaceflight Insider

Speaking to the significance of the upcoming announcement and mission, Minister Champagne remarked, “This is not just a new chapter, this is a new book that we’re writing – we’re going to the Moon, and beyond”. Noting that Canada is positioned to become only the second nation to ever fly a citizen to the Moon, he continued that it was only possible as a result of strong international partnerships: “I think the President of the United States said it best when he came to Ottawa recently, when he said, “The United States and Canada can do big things, because we do them together.”.

While the selected Canadian astronaut’s identity remains under wraps for one more night, the Minister took the opportunity to speak about the importance of Canadarm3 as part of the Lunar Gateway project; Canadarm3 is the next generation in a series of remote manipulator arms, in this case measuring approximately 8.5 meters (28 feet) in length. It is a critical element of the Lunar Gateway’s design, and will see Canada continue its longstanding reputation for developing and deploying highly capable robotic tools for use in outer space.

Back to the topic of Canada’s first deep-space astronaut: tomorrow is the big reveal! Join us for updates from Johnson Space Centre in Houston, as our multi-day coverage continues.


Sean Costello is a technology professional who also researches, writes about and speaks publicly on the inspiring lessons within international space flight program. Prior to joining SpaceFlight Insider in early 2014, Costello was a freelance photographer and correspondent covering shuttle-era Kennedy Space Center launches for various radio and print news organizations.

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