HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The Rocket City will play a role in the upcoming Artemis II Mission in more ways than one.

Artemis II is the second mission, part of the Artemis series. The goal of the mission is to confirm all of the spacecraft’s systems operate as designed with crew aboard in the actual environment of deep space. 

According to NASA, the Artemis II flight test will be NASA’s first mission with crew and will pave the way to land the first woman and next man on the Moon on Artemis III.

Huntsville’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) designed the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket that will be used to propel the onboard astronauts into space.

Monday, NASA announced the four Astronauts that will be part of the Artemis II Mission.

One of those astronauts is Christina Hammock Koch.

Koch is a five-time Space Camp alumna and member of the Space Camp Hall of Fame. According to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, she attended Space Camp every summer from 1992 to 1996.

Astronaut Christina Koch when she participated in Space Camp. Image Credit: U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

Tuesday, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center (USSRC) welcomed News 19 to check out Space Camp.

We saw students participating in simulations in Mission Control, very similar to what Koch experienced in her time.

Pat Ammons, the Senior Director of Public and Media Relations, explained Space Camp sees thousands of students, from all over the world each year.

While Space Camp has been around for more than 40 years, it’s mission remains the same.

“Teamwork, critical thinking, problem solving skills, but really focusing on ways to take a passion and turning it into something real in the world” Ammons said.

“All these kids will take away something really special and important from their time here” she continued.

Ammons said the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and Space Camp team were excited to hear Koch will be part of the Artemis II mission.

“We were excited, thrilled, honored to find that Christina Koch who is a 5 time Space Camp graduate is a part of that crew” Ammons said. “You know, it’s always thrilling when we see amazing things come out of our graduates.”

During the announcement for the Artemis II Mission, Koch expressed her excitement for the upcoming mission.

“We’re going to hear the words ‘go for launch’ on top of the most powerful rocket NASA has ever made, the Space Launch System” Koch said.

All of the connections between the Rocket City and the Artemis II mission aren’t lost on the folks at the USSRC.

“The fact that our Space Camp graduate is going to be sitting on top of an SLS rocket that was managed right here in Huntsville is huge for us” Ammons said.

Astronaut Christina Koch will be joined by NASA astronauts Reid Wiseman and Victor Glover.

Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronaut Jeremy Hansen will also be on board.

According to NASA, it hopes to launch the Artemis II mission in November of 2024.