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Shaheen Hosts NASA Artemis II Astronaut at Middle School in Manchester, Roundtable at McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center

(Manchester, NH) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chair of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), hosted Christina Koch, an astronaut with NASA’s Artemis II mission, in New Hampshire. NASA’s Artemis campaign seeks to explore the Moon for scientific discovery, technology advancement and for human missions to the planet. The Artemis II mission, scheduled for September 2025, will be the first crewed test, where astronaut Koch and the rest of the crew will circle the Moon and travel further into space than humans ever have, before returning to Earth. Shaheen and Koch visited the Middle School at Parkside in Manchester to meet with 5th graders who participated in the New Hampshire National Guard’s STARBASE (Science and Technology Academies Reinforcing Basic Aviation and Space Exploration) program and to learn about their creative planet projects. Shaheen and Koch then toured the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord, met with students and held a roundtable with Granite State businesses connected to the Artemis campaign. Photos from today’s events can be found here.

“It was an honor to host Artemis II astronaut Christina Koch today in New Hampshire, and I’m especially glad that she was able to meet with Granite State students and inspire these future STEM leaders to shoot for the stars,” said Senator Shaheen. “The Artemis Missions are key to America’s continued leadership in space and wouldn’t be possible without the many innovative New Hampshire businesses that make the equipment that’s critical to our exploration of the final frontier.”

As Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that funds NASA, Senator Shaheen routinely secures robust funding to support the United States’ continued leadership in space. In the fiscal year (FY) 2024 government funding law, Shaheen secured $24.875 billion for NASA to bolster climate research and space missions. The bill also includes an increase of nearly $200 million to return Americans to the Moon, including the first woman and first person of color. Additionally, within the $7.33 billion Shaheen secured for NASA Science, $805 million is for NASA Heliophysics, an increase of $54 million above the President’s request level.  

Last year, Shaheen hosted NASA Administrator Bill Nelson at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) to showcase the University’s impressive work in support of the U.S. Space Program. Shaheen also previously hosted a virtual roundtable with former NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine to highlight contracting opportunities for Granite State small businesses to support NASA’s ongoing space exploration technology research efforts and the Artemis program. Shaheen has also met with Artemis II astronauts in Washington. In 2019, Bridenstine joined Shaheen in visits to the University of New Hampshire's Space Science Center and Mikrolar, a contractor for NASA. The events came on the heels of UNH’s selection by NASA for a highly-competitive $107.9 million contract award through the Earth Venture program.