2022 space stories that are out of this world
From the successful scientific operations of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope until the crash of the Orion space capsule, 2022 has brought many victories.
These are the greatest moments to remember:
Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART)
NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission has successfully altered the orbit of an asteroid millions of miles away. Analyzing more than two weeks after the spacecraft hit Dimorphos — humanity’s first time to purposefully alter the motion of a celestial body and the first full-scale demonstration of asteroid deflection technology — scientists found that the kinetic impact changed the moonlet’s orbit around its mother. asteroid had shortened Didymos by 32 minutes. It used to take Dimorphos 11 hours and 55 minutes to orbit Didymos. The measure has a margin of uncertainty of approximately plus or minus two minutes.
Black hole in the Milky Way
Astronomers have revealed the first image of the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. The colorized image was created by the international Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration, using observations from a global network of radio telescopes. The black hole is about 27,000 light-years from Earth and 4 million times more massive than our sun.
Perseverance rover collects samples from Mars
NASA’s Perseverance rover is expected to begin construction of the first sample depot on another world. According to NASA, this will be a critical milestone in the Mars Sample Return campaign, which is aimed at it bring samples from Mars to Earth for further study. Over the course of approximately 30 days, Perseverance will deposit a total of 10 tubes with samples representing the diversity of the rock record in Jezero Crater.
Orion spacecraft plummets after flying past the moon
NASA’s Orion space capsule splashed into the ocean after 25 days unmanned test flight around the moon, completing a mission that paves the way for astronauts on the next lunar flight. The capsule splashed down west of Baja California, more than 300 miles south of its original target zone.
James Webb Space Space Telescope begins scientific operations
NASA and its international partners have released the full series of James Webb Space Telescope’s first full-color images and data. The images include the exoplanet WASP-96 b, a hot, gaseous giant located nearly 1,150 light-years from Earth. In another image shared via an international broadcast, the southern ring, or “Eight-Burst,” planetary nebula is shown in greater detail, previously hidden from astronomers. Then, in an image presented by European Space Agency (ESA) partners, Stephan’s Quintet — a visual grouping of five galaxies — is seen in a new light, about 290 million light-years away. The final image showed the shimmering view of the Carina Nebula – a stellar nursery – with brand new stars that were previously completely hidden. The “Cosmic Cliffs” captured by Webb form the edge of the giant gaseous cavity in the star-forming region of the Carina Nebula, called NGC 3324. The Carina Nebula, found in the Milky Way, is about 7,600 light-years away. It is home to many massive stars several times larger than the sun.
Since then, the telescope has helped astronomers discover the earliest galaxies yet confirmed.
NASA’s Native American astronaut makes history
NASA astronaut Nicole Mann made history as the first Native American woman to rocket into space. A member of the Wailacki of the Round Valley Indian Tribes, Mann traveled to the International Space Station as commander of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft.
Axiom-1 private spaceflight is launched
Axiom Mission 1, the first private crewed mission to the International Space Station (ISS), launched in April. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon Endeavor lifted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Ax-1 mission sent four private space travelers on a 10-day flight to conduct science and push the boundaries of commercial spaceflight.
Bradford Betz of Fox News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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