RMC grad to be first Canadian in deep space

Last Updated on April 8, 2023 by YGK News Staff

A former student at RMC will be part of the first crewed mission to the moon since the last of the Apollo ships launched in 1972.

The Artemis II Crew was unveiled on Monday morning and Colonel Jeremy Hansen was among those selected, making him set to be the first Canadian to ever encircle the moon on what will also be his first trip to space.

Hansen joined the 614 Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron in his hometown of London in 1988 to set his career in aviation in motion.

The CF-18 pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force graduated from RMC in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in honours space science, later achieving a master of science in physics.

He was selected by the Canadian Space Agency in 2009 through the third Canadian Astronaut Recruitment Campaign and graduated Astronaut Candidate Training in 2011.

In 2017, he became the first Canadian to be entrusted with leading a NASA astronaut class.

After the announcement was made, Hansen said he was humbled, excited, and in awe of what “strong leadership, setting big goals, with a passion to collaborate and a can-do attitude can achieve”.

“Being part of the Artemis II crew is both exciting and humbling. I’m excited to leverage my experience, training, and knowledge to take on this challenging mission on behalf of Canada,” Hansen said.

“I’m humbled by the incredible contributions and hard work of so many Canadians that have made this opportunity a reality. I am proud and honoured to represent my country on this historic mission.”

RMC Vice-Principal of Academics and Professor of Physics Dr. Ribal Georges Sabat said it was a great honour for the school’s Department of Physics and Space Science to see one of their own grads get selected for the mission.

“The Royal Military College of Canada is extremely proud of ex-cadet Col. Jeremy Hansen for being selected to be a mission specialist for the Artemis II NASA mission,” said Sabat in a statement.

“The Space Science program at RMC is one of the very few university programs in Canada that provides specialized training in space-related physics, including orbital mechanics, space mission design and analysis, as well as satellite tracking, remote sensing and communications… It is a great honour for RMC, and particularly the Department of Physics and Space Science, to have one of our graduates be selected for such an amazing historical event.” 

Artemis II will engage in up to a three week flyby trip in 2024, in a mission to make sure that everything is prepared for Artemis III where the aim is to once again put humans on the surface of the moon in 2025 and build a “long term presence on the moon” and ultimately to dispatch humans to Mars.

The other astronauts on the mission- Christina Hammock Koch, Victor Glover, and G. Reid Wiseman- are all American.

Artemis II is expected to launch in November 2024.