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KSBY catches up with NASA Astronaut, Victor Glover

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Posted at 9:21 AM, Sep 21, 2023

Earlier this year, NASA astronaut and 1999 Cal Poly graduate, Victor Glover, was announced as the pilot for Artemis II, a 10-day flight test that will travel around the moon, becoming the first astronauts in more than 50 years to fly within the moon’s vicinity. KSBY’s Neil Hebert chatted with Glover about his upcoming journey to the moon’s orbit.

“It's four days to the moon, four days back,” said Glover of us his upcoming mission on Artemis II.

It will mark Glover’s second trip to space.

“Anytime you fly a new spacecraft, you're going to learn things about it,” said Glover. “And that's the part of the process that we're engaged in right now.”

This time, he’s traveling nearly a quarter million miles from Earth. Glover is set to pilot Artemis II at the end of 2024 to get up close and personal with the moon, with the goal of eyeing up the side that has never been seen by humans in the light.

“Looking at the far side of the moon is maybe the most impactful thing that's going to last from these missions,” said Glover. “It depends on when we launch, but we will possibly see, with our eyes, parts of the far side of the moon that have never been illuminated when humans saw them.”

Glover was pilot for SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Resilience in November of 2020 to the International Space Station, where he and three others conducted scientific research and technology demonstrations for 167 days. The last mission was more of a marathon; Glover classifies this mission more like a sprint.

“This mission is going to be like going out on a camping expedition and living off the land,” said Glover. “What you take with you is all that you're going to have, and you have to make sure you pack smartly.”

Hebert asked Glover if the upcoming mission is complex. He says it is because it’s still rocket science, but the mission itself is fairly simple.

“It actually is a pretty easy to understand set of objectives. We are testing this spacecraft to make sure people can live in it and fly to space and get back to Earth safely. That's the big thing,” said Glover. “There is a heat shield on it, parachutes, and all these life support systems that have to keep us alive and safe.”

Glover became an astronaut 10 years ago as part of NASA’s 21st astronaut class. He’s accomplished out-of-this-world goals in the last decade; lived in space for nearly half a year, and he’s now slated to literally shoot for the moon. So, after this mission, what’s next?

“I would love to walk on the moon, and so is this a step closer? It is, but not for me. It's a step closer for everybody,” said Glover. “This mission being successful is what enables the next in the more complicated missions. And so this mission has to be successful for us to keep moving forward with the rest of the Artemis programs and the really large goals that we have to have a responsible, sustainable presence at and around the moon, and then eventually onto Mars.”

Glover has two daughters attending Cal Poly. When his days as an astronaut come to a close, though it may not be in the near future, his kids will be a determining factor as to what life after space looks like.

“Whatever they decide to do, Dionna and I will support them being massively successful, and also being good and responsible people as well,” said Glover. “Thinking about others on the planet and keeping that as a part of their professional and personal responsibility. I don't know, we might have an astronaut, but no matter what they do, I'm going to be cheering them on from the sidelines.”