Record-Breaking NASA Astronaut Welcomes Decade of Artemis with Stunning Moonrise Photo

Record-breaking astronaut Christina Koch snapped this image of the moon from the International Space Station on Jan. 2, 2020.  (Image credit: Astro_Christina/Twitter)

Record-breaking NASA astronaut Christina Koch welcomed the decade that the U.S. plans to return to the moon with a stunning moonrise photo.

Koch, who recently set the record for the longest space mission by a woman, is still aboard the International Space Station and is looking to the future. To celebrate the new year, Koch posted a stunning moonrise photo to Twitter.

"First moonrise seen from the @Space_Station in the decade we go back," Koch wrote in her tweet. 

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This moonrise is not only the first that the astronauts are seeing this year, but also this decade. The moonrise, as Koch said, is the first glimpse of the moon in a decade in which humans expect to return to the lunar surface.

NASA's Artemis program aims to land the first woman and the next man on the moon by 2024. This will be the first crewed moon landing since NASA's Apollo 17 mission which, in 1972, was the last mission to land astronauts on the moon. Additionally, Koch is one of 17 female astronauts who could be chosen to be a part of the first crew to land on the moon with Artemis. 

Artemis is named after the Greek goddess of the moon, who is the twin sister to Apollo in Greek mythology. The program's main goal is to return humans to the lunar surface and to develop a long-term human presence on the moon.  

Within the program, NASA will additionally work with commercial partners to develop the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway, a moon-orbiting station for space travelers; the Space Launch System (SLS), a giant rocket; and the Orion deep-space capsule, a spacecraft that will carry up to four astronauts to destinations like the moon or even Mars. 

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Chelsea Gohd
Senior Writer

Chelsea “Foxanne” Gohd joined in 2018 and is now a Senior Writer, writing about everything from climate change to planetary science and human spaceflight in both articles and on-camera in videos. With a degree in Public Health and biological sciences, Chelsea has written and worked for institutions including the American Museum of Natural History, Scientific American, Discover Magazine Blog, Astronomy Magazine and Live Science. When not writing, editing or filming something space-y, Chelsea "Foxanne" Gohd is writing music and performing as Foxanne, even launching a song to space in 2021 with Inspiration4. You can follow her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd and @foxannemusic.