jeremy hansen astronaut

Ridiculously handsome Ontario astronaut chosen as first Canadian to orbit the Moon

Canada will soon be the second country in history to have one of its own astronauts orbiting the Moon, according to government officials, who on Monday announced that Ontario-born Jeremy Hansen will be going to space with NASA's Artemis II — the first crewed mission of its kind in more than 50 years.

Hansen, 47, will serve in the role of Mission Specialist 2 alongside American astronauts Reid Wiseman (Commander), Victor Glover (Pilot) and Christina Kock (Mission Specialist 1) during his 10-day mission to the Moon next year.

He will be the first non-American ever to leave Earth's orbit when the Artemis II moon mission commences in November of 2024, representing an incredible leap from his upbringing on a farm in southwestern Ontario.

"Jeremy Hansen will be the first CSA astronaut to fly around the Moon as part of NASA's Artemis II mission. This historic crewed mission to the Moon will be the first since the end of the Apollo program 50 years ago," wrote the Canadian Space Agency when announcing the news.

"Over the last four decades, Canada's astronauts have earned a world-class reputation as modern-day explorers while being a source of inspiration to countless Canadians. Building on this legacy, Jeremy Hansen will be an important asset to the Artemis II crew thanks to his leadership, integrity and outstanding operational skills."

While the full scope of Artemis II has yet to be revealed, Canada's federal government says that the mission will "pave the way for humanity's sustainable presence on the lunar surface."

The last manned moon mission (Apollo 17) took place in December of 1972 and saw crew members break records, including the longest space walk and the largest lunar samples ever returned to Earth.

This time around, NASA is working toward an eventual goal of putting one man and one woman on the Moon by 2025. The hope is that astronauts stationed on the Moon will one day dispatch others to Mars.

"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," said Hansen in a press release on Monday.

"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."

Born on January 27 in London, Ontario, Hansen was raised on a farm just south of Grand Bend until high school, when he moved to Ingersoll. He attended the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario, where he earned both a Bachelor of Science degree in space science and a Master of Science degree in physics.

Now married with three children, the astronaut has racked up an impressive list of accomplishments and awards, including a 12 Years of Outstanding Service designation with the Canadian Forces.

It has been observed by many online, both in the wake of today's news and in the past, that Hansen is a conventionally-attractive fellow. To wit, the first word that pops up next to the astronaut's name when Googled is "married."

"On behalf of all Canadians, I want to congratulate Jeremy for being at the forefront of one of the most ambitious human endeavours ever undertaken," said François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, when announcing the next phase in Hansen's career.

"Canada's participation in the Artemis program will spur the creation of thousands of highly skilled jobs, boost innovation and be a source of national pride for years to come."

"We are going back to the Moon, and Canada is at the centre of this exciting journey," continued Champagne. "Thanks to our reputation as a trusted partner and our longstanding collaboration with NASA, a Canadian astronaut will fly on this historic mission."

Lead photo by

Jeremy Hansen

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