ARTEMIS MISSION UPDATE: Artemis II Crew Meets With Steve Wilson During Orion Media Day at Kennedy Space Center
By Steve Wilson // August 9, 2023
crew will launch from Kennedy Space Center on their way to the moon in late 2024
WATCH: The crew of Artemis II, Commander Reid Wiseman, Pilot Victor Glover, Mission Specialist Christina Hammock Koch, and Mission Specialist Jeremy Hansen met with the media at Orion Media Day. The Friday Night Locker Room’s Steve Wilson attended and was involved with the press conference and all the day’s activities.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Orion Media Day was held Tuesday, August 8 at the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at the Kennedy Space Center and we were provided with the opportunity to talk with the crew of Artemis II and with individuals involved with the Orion spacecraft and Artemis missions.
In late 2024 the crew of Artemis II, including Commander Reid Wiseman, Pilot Victor Glover, Mission Specialist Christina Hammock Koch, and Mission Specialist Jeremy Hansen, will launch from Launch Complex 39B at the Kennedy Space Center on their way to the moon.
We covered several topics during our 15-minute interview with the astronauts. However, I did not want to ask technical questions, but something a little more personal. I asked each of them if they are living their “childhood dream” of becoming an astronaut.
Mission Specialist Hansen told me, “I absolutely was inspired by the Apollo missions. I set a goal of being a space explorer. I changed my treehouse into a spaceship.” He went on to say, “I dreamed of something like this.”
Mission Pilot Glover told me, “No. I wanted to play pro football. My father was a police officer, so I also wanted to do something that was of service to my community.”
Glover sees the Artemis “team” and a sports team in a similar light. He said, both “are trying to accomplish a very important mission.” Glover went on to say, “Even though I am not doing the specific job I wanted to do as a child, the aspects of it that were meaningful, I think that’s what we’ve got now.”
Mission Specialist Koch said, “I don’t remember a time when I did not want to be an astronaut.” She was fortunate enough to be encouraged by everyone along the way. Koch visited Kennedy Space Center when she was about 10-years old, which she said “really solidified things.” She continued, “Suddenly I had something to sink my teeth into. I had seen real things.” She ultimately achieved her goal of becoming an astronaut and concluded by saying, “It is an honor to live out my dream.”
Commander Wiseman told me, “As a five-year-old, I wanted to drive trains, and then as I grew up, I wanted to fly planes.” He continued, “As I got to my teenage years, I wanted to join the military to serve the nation I love. And then I saw a Space Shuttle launch when I was a Navy pilot.” As they say, the rest is history.
Artemis II has four remarkable individuals that will be making history in late 2024. They appear to be about as different as four people can be. However, they are of “one mind.” They have a single purpose; they are on a mission, and they have an amazing team surrounding them. Because of that, I have no doubt that they WILL be successful.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Steve Wilson was born in DeRidder, Louisiana and grew up in both New Orleans and Macon, Georgia. He moved to Brevard County in 1984 and retired from local government as the Community Advocate/Assistant to the City Manager with the City of Rockledge in 2018.
Among the awards and accolades Steve has received over the years are 15 + year Rockledge Little League volunteer, Brevard Public School Jefferson Award Recipient, Rockledge High School Raider Booster Award 2001, 2006, City of Rockledge Employee of the Year 2006, Rockledge Kiwanian of the Year 2006-2007, City of Rockledge Quality Public Service Award 2008, 2012, 2017, Rockledge Kiwanis Citizen of the Year 2012-2013, Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame – Sportscasting 2015, Rockledge High School Leadership and Service Award 2016, Central Florida Humanitarian Award 2017, Space Coast Inspiration Award – 2018 and Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame – Lifetime Achievement – 2020.
Wilson is especially proud of is chairing two fundraisers in support of pediatric cancer research through the St. Baldrick’s Foundation in honor of Merritt Island resident Julie Spurlock that raised over $25,000.00.
He has been a partner, along with Orville Susong, for the past 24 years with the Friday Night Locker Room, a broadcasting team that covers and reports on a wide variety of local events that are of significance to the residents of the Space Coast and beyond. Their mission is to promote youth sports, support first responders and law enforcement personnel, and showcase community and charitable events that are produced by our nonprofit partners in central Florida.
The Friday Night Locker Room has awarded hundreds of sports achievement plaques to Brevard County student-athletes over the years. They have also awarded more than $18,000 in academic scholarships to Brevard County high school seniors.