North Carolina astronaut Christina Koch could become first woman on the moon

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Thursday, December 10, 2020
NC astronaut Christina Koch named to NASA moon-landing program
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Koch is one of 18 astronauts - half of them women - who will train for the NASA program that is aiming for a moon landing by 2024.

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- NASA has named North Carolina native Christina Koch to the Artemis moon-landing program.

Koch is one of 18 astronauts--half of them women--who will train for the NASA program that is aiming for a moon landing by 2024. She and fellow astronaut Jessica Meir performed the world's first all-female spacewalk last year will now train together for the lunar landing missions.

Koch is a graduate of NC State University and North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham.

The trip would mark the first time humans would land on the moon since 1972. The Artemis mission is expected to be split up into three parts: Artemis I will launch in 2021 with two test flights around the moon without astronauts; Artemis II will launch in 2023 with astronauts on board; Artemis III will bring astronauts back to the moon's surface in 2024.

RELATED: NASA astronaut, NCSU alum Christina Koch describes adjusting to life back on earth

Koch set a record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman with a total of 328 days in space.

"It's time to explore. Come along," Koch Tweeted as part of the Artemis NASA announcement.

Koch grew up in Jacksonville, North Carolina, and now lives in Houston, according to her NASA biography.